‘Walk with the Force’ for little Jann

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Norman V. Mendoza October 09,2016 - 10:26 PM
CHARITY WALK. Members of the Young Lawyers Association of Cebu (YLAC) take to the streets in Star Wars’ 501st Legion costumes to raise funds for the treatment of cancer-stricken baby Jann Evou Alivio (PHOTO GRAB/FB FAGE OF ATTY. CT BACUS)

CHARITY WALK. Members of the Young Lawyers Association of Cebu (YLAC) take to the streets in Star Wars’ 501st Legion costumes to raise funds for the treatment of cancer-stricken baby Jann Evou Alivio (PHOTO GRAB/FB FAGE OF ATTY. CT BACUS)

FOR the sake of the barely two years old Jann Evou Alivio, some lawyers decided to become inter-galactic warriors.

Around thirty individuals together with the six Star Wars characters joined the charity walk dubbed “Walk with the Force” from the town of Consolacion in northern Cebu to the Mandaue City Hall yesterday morning in the hope of raising funds for the cancer-stricken young Jann.

The charity walk was initiated by the Young Lawyers Association in Cebu (YLAC), with some members transforming themselves into 501st Legion soldiers, the elite unit of Storm Troopers featured in several Star Wars films and television series, a Darth Vader and other characters of the George Lucas movie and television franchise.

The intention was to raise enough money to pay for the chemotherapy treatment of Jann Evou, who is stricken with a rare flesh-eating disease, according to Lawyer Christian Grey Bacus, the past president of YLAC.

Bacus said this was the first time that they initiated a charity walk after coming up with different fund-raising ideas when the family of little Jann, whose lower jaw has already been affected by the disease, was referred to YLAC for help.

Jann’s parents, who are from Barangay Poblacion Oriental of Consolacion town, need to pay for the young boy’s chemotherapy sessions at the Cebu Community Hospital where he is currently confined, said Bacus last night in a Facebook messenger interview.

The boy will be celebrating his second birthday on Oct. 31, according to Bacus.

Jann’s father, Kim Maringuran Alivio, is working for a burger station.

In Kim’s Facebook page, his friend Jowanee Sanchez Valle explained that Jann has been diagnosed with RMS Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma of the mandible, a rare form of cancer of the connective tissue.

“We were active in several community services here in Cebu but this is the first time we come up with this idea,” said Bacus of their charity walk.

The “Walk with the Force” walk started from the municipal building of Consolacion town at 5:30 a.m., with participants walking for over two hours along the national highway until they reached the Mandaue City Hall.

A number of people along the route were so amused by the sight of the Star Wars characters walking along the road that they stopped the walk several times to have their pictures taken with the costumed characters.

Bacus said the marchers were assisted by traffic enforcers and policemen from Mandaue City, provided by Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, who is also a Star Wars fan and, in fact, a membership applicant for the 501st Legion, an international organization of fans of the Storm Troopers.

Quisumbing had earlier openly expressed his support to the fund-raising activity of the 501st Legion and YLAC.

Bacus said in an earlier interview that participants were themselves the donors to the fund-raising activity.

Even before the charity walk, however, Bacus said they have already raised about P100,000. The donations came from friends and concerned citizens who responded to their call to save the boy in a plea posted in the Facebook pages of 501st Legion and YLAC.

Bacus said the 501st Legion has 53 members in the Philippines and 7 of them are based in Cebu.

Their costumes, which were ordered from the United States, were collections of some YLAC members and private individuals who are Star Wars fans./with correspondent Norman Mendoza

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TAGS: Cebu, City hall, Consolacion, George Lucas, inter-galactic warriors, Jann Evou Alivio, lawyer, lawyers, mandaue, Mandaue City, Mandaue City Hall, Quisumbing, Star Wars, Storm Troopers, Walk with the Force, YLAC, Young Lawyers Association in Cebu

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