House of Hope shelters cancer patients
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (21 February) -- The 280-square meter renovated house with seven bedrooms, a decent kitchen, and a green vegetable garden is already the paradise of cancer kid patients and their families who have been undergoing medication and operation in the Davao Medical Center.
An idea that became a reality in November 2006, funded in February 2007, constructed in May, and started accepting temporary residents in August, the House of Hope then became the pet project of the Rotary of Waling-Waling Davao.
Dr. Mae Dolendo, a Rotarian and at the same time an Oncologist, pushed for this project as she believed that health is a shared responsibility, not just from the government sector but also from the community and civic groups.
The House of Hope then became refuge of cancer patients and their families who live far from Davao City and cannot afford to travel every now and then just to comply with the medication requirements of a cancer patient.
It houses families that come as far as Indonesia, Zamboanga, Cotabato, and other provinces of Mindanao.
"The Davao Medical Center is just the only hospital in Mindanao that caters cancer kid patients. That is why we take advantage of putting up a shelter home for families who are not residing in Davao City," Malou Jacinto said.
The shelter home is said to be benefiting about 300 beneficiaries since it started operation last August 2007. It has addressed problems on transportation cost and health concerns that the patient need to maintain as they undergo series of operations like chemotherapy.
Roger Rosareal Jr, father of a cancer kid patient, shared how his family saved so much as they were able to benefit from the House of Hope.
"We live in North Cotabato and it would be so expensive for my family if we go home quite often. Traveling very often is also unhealthy for our kid especially when he is advised to just stay in a clean room with clean surroundings so as not to acquire infections," Roger said.
Before learning about the House of Hope, Roger and his family were forced to rent a small place and pay as much as P3,000 per month just to secure a clean shelter for the family and the cancer patient.
Fortunately, Dr. Dolendo offered the House of Hope as the second home the Rosareal family.
Having offered for a free accommodation is already taken by Roger as a big help and a big savings for the family. He shared that P27,000 a week is already very heavy for his family to raise and pay for the operation like chemotherapy.
Rotary of Waling-Waling Davao still pledged continued support in this endeavor and even assured future beneficiaries that they, too, will be offered with this free shelter home as long as they meet the criteria set by the Rotary group.
"We are also very happy that the parents of the cancer patients have been cooperating with us by handling the maintenance and making sure that the house is spic and span for the benefit of the cancer patients," she said. (PIA) [top]