‘Free dialysis’ campaign / Archer needs wheelchair

>> Monday, January 30, 2017

Ramon S. Dacawi  

BAGUIO CITY -- The on-going signature campaign towards making dialysis, the life-saving medical procedure that has to be sustained for a life-time, was triggered by the recent decision of an ailing housewife to stop her treatment and save her family from further financial and  distress.
Launched by journalists under the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, the signature campaign kicked off last January 17 was pushed by that decision of Jane Lamlamag Garcia, 34, to stop her twice-a-week hemodialysis for kidney failure so her family could focus on the treatment of her two minor children.
“Imbagana nga nabannog kano unayen  ket kayat na nga agiginana isua nga kapilitan nga inyawid mi isuna idiay Mankayan idi Disyembre (She said she was already too tired and wanted to rest so we brought her home to Mankayan),” her husband Romeo, a miner in Lepanto Mines, said.
Jane, a native of Bauko, Mt. Province, left two young  daughters  also afflicted with serious illnesses– Princess Arcia, 6, who is battling leukemia or cancer of the blood, and Cathy Sy, 4, who was diagnosed for epilepsy.
After burying his wife in Bauko, Romeo was himself confined for a week at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Hospital here in Baguio. That’s when he was told that his own kidneys were also on the early stages of malfunction, he said after his release the other week, when he visited Princess, who was confined at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Cash-strapped, Romeo was only too glad when told support of P10,000 was sent by former world karate champion Julian Chees from the martial artist’s headquarters in Germany.
Chees, a former member of the German national karate team, sent the amount when he learned of Garcia’s predicament in the wake of his wife’s death.
It was the latest support to indigent patients here sent by Chees, a native of Maligcong, Bontoc, Mt. Province who trained under the late Shihan Kunio Sasaki and Edgar Kapawen of the Japan Karate Association based at the YMCA of Baguio.
“I’ve had a difficult boyhood because of poverty, and that experience propelled me to establish a small foundation here in Germany to be able to reach to those in need back home,” Chees said.
His association was also recently in mourning over the death of Katharina Schwarz Ehemann, mother of Renate Doth, secretary of the Shoshin Kinderhilfe-Julian Chees Foundation which oversees the humanitarian outreach here.
Agustina Bantiloc, twice-bronze medalist  in archery in the ASEAN Paralympic Games, found herself disqualified after her final attempt in the last edition of the sports event December for using an unprescribed wheelchair, a violation she only came  to know after her performance in Singapore.
 “I used the same wheelchair when I took the bronze in the 70 meters in the 2011 and 2013 games, so I was surprised to know it did not meet the specifications after my attempts in Ssingapore,” the 48-0year old paralympian, a native of Tanudan, Kalinga, said.
 She was with Dr. Lenora Fe Brawner, a long-time leader of the national archery association and coach at the University of the Philippines who trained many of Baguio’s athletes who eventually  made their marks in the event.
 “Agustina wants to compete again, and would be grateful should a Samaritan out there could reach out to her and provide a wheelchair with the official specifications,” Brawner said.
 Here are the specifications of the wheelchair this promising paralympian needs: seat width – 14 inches; seat height – 21 inches; back height -0 27 inches; footrest – adjustable; footrest height (from seat to footrest) - 14 inches.
 Originally a power lifter, Agustina was a silver medalist in the 2nd ASEAN Paralympic Games with a record of 50 kilos in the bench press before Brawner saw her potential  and trained her in archery.

 People who can help locate a prescribed wheelchair for this special athlete may contact Dr. Brawner (09209249004 or this writer (09167778103).


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