Alkansya for a cause
From selling coin banks or “alkansiya,” to calling on people to join a small raffle, a young mother and her family will stop at nothing to raise their target P2 million.
22-year-old Animah Baylomo, from Barangay Poblacion, Alegria, a town in southern Cebu, has taken to Facebook in hopes of getting more people to buy her P100 coin banks which would have otherwise, sold only for P35 when bought in a store.
Baylomo’s P65 profit will go to a worthy cause: A liver transplant needed by her 3-year-old son, Denixe John, whom she fondly calls, baby DJ.
Doctors estimate the cost of the transplant to be around P6 million; but Baylomo is heeding the advice of Baby DJ’s doctor, Melvina Baclayon.
Dr. Baclayon, a pediatric gastroenterologist, recommends DJ’s admission to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila to save on the cost of the operation or have the child’s surgery done in India where the procedure is estimated to cost P2 million instead of P6 million.
According to Dr. Baclayon, baby DJ needed the liver transplant to relieve the obstruction from his bile which may later develop into Cirrhosis, a complication that results to the loss of liver cells and the irreversible scarring of the liver.
“A liver transplant here in the Philippines will cost up to P6 million, so that’s why we’ve decided to do the operation in India which is cheaper,” Baylomo said in Cebuano.
The child was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants, when he was four months old.
Because of the disease, the bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked.
This causes the bile to be trapped inside the liver, quickly causing damage and scarring of the liver cells (cirrhosis), and eventually liver failure.
“When my son was diagnosed with the condition, doctors from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center recommended that my son should undergo an operation. But we’ve refused and signed a waiver during that time,” she said.
Baby DJ’s father and Baylomo’s live-in partner works as a caretaker of a poultry farm with a salary that was barely enough to fend for their daily needs.
Baylomo said that due to his medical condition, her son’s stomach bulges abnormally, while his eyes and skin have turned yellowish.
The child also has difficulty breathing while he continues to experience weight loss and irritability.
Doctors earlier told her that Baby DJ might only live for a year because of his condition.
“But my son is fighting for his life. Now, he is already 3-years-old which inspires me to fight as well and do something to save him,” she said.
“If he will not undergo operation, the patient’s liver will continue to deteriorate,” said Dr. Baclayon adding that the patient also needs to undergo several medical examinations before the procedure.
“They will have a long journey (once they will be referred to PGH). We still need to prepare the patient and the donor before the operation,” said Dr. Baclayon.
After undergoing a transplant, the child will have take lifetime medications, said Dr. Baclayon.
Baylomo’s “alkansya for a cause” was launched last September.
The idea, she said, came from LITRO (Liver Transplant Operation) Babies Philippines Inc., a support group for parents of children with liver problems.
Currently, Baylomo said that she has managed to raise P22,000 from the sale of her alkansya and other donations from various people.
Early this month, Baylomo’s sister, Samer, also launched a “raffle for a cause”.
For P100, one gets a slot in a raffle draw for an iPhone 5S as grand prize, P700 for the 2nd prize and P500 for the 3rd prize.
“I hope that people will help me so that my son can undergo liver transplant (operation),” Baylomo said.
For those who would like to help baby DJ, Baylomo said that she can be reached through her cellphone number 09365264073 or donors may directly deposit to her BDO account number: 010260049727.
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