Sisters overcome disability to excel in school
DESPITE their disability, sisters Aleja and Jean Balingit are determined to realize their dreams, and they are not alone in their journey to fulfill them.
Eleven-year-old Aleja is an incoming Grade 6 pupil and consistent honor student in Barangay Caohagan Islet, Lapu-Lapu City, while 16-year-old Jean is studying high school on Pangan-an Island, a 15-minute boat ride from their islet.
Both girls stand at two feet tall and suffer from brittle bone growth in their limbs and have to rely on people to move them around in strollers.
Their mother Emma is a barangay health worker while their father Roel works as a crew member for boats servicing tourists.
“They had to be moved by stroller every day when going to school, and they use a specially made table so they can write comfortably on their notebooks,” their mother said.
She said no one in her family nor her husband had any medical history of brittle bone growth, and the doctor couldn’t determine what exactly caused their condition.
But the two girls are undeterred. When Jean started high school on Pangan-an Island, Emma entrusted her care to a classmate whom she paid to look after her while in school.
Jean wants to become a lawyer someday while Aleja has yet to decide what she really wants to be when she grows up. The two girls have cell phones to call their parents in case of emergency.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said she will provide financial assistance to the girls in coordination with the local Department of Education (DepEd) office.
She told Cebu Daily News that she asked the mother to buy new strollers for her two children.
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