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Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women

by Asia America Initiative
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Cancer treatment for 20 children and 30 women
Brielle and Dad
Brielle and Dad

Sometimes we are given choices in this troubled world whether or not it is wise to spend scarce time and resources to save the life one child or adult when so many are in need.   In mid-2016, I was introduced to a 3 year old child in the central Philippines whose Mother was seeking to donate part of her own liver to save her daughter's life. Some supporters of Asia America Initiative sincerely asked if this child who was near death was worth the investment when we already support hundreds of children with cancer and other rare genetic diseases who live below the poverty line.

My answer was very clear and direct, having dedicated hours of prayer and reflection on what our choice should be:  "Sometimes, if you save one life, you help to save the world."  I believed Brielle and the unselfish love of her Mom would be a shining example to many people around the globe.  The child was bursting with energy and joy, no matter how painful and scary the battle for survival that she faced.

One institution that I believed could be a reliable base of support because of the quality of donors who would be willing to give what they could afford to save little Brielle was Global Giving, where I had begun funding our successful cancer treatment program.  Cancer Treatment for 20 Children and 30 Women [Global Giving project #8496], which continues to provide healing support for hundreds of kids at the House of Hope in Davao and the the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders in Manila.  Fortunately, my trust in the Global Giving donor community was realized.We raised directly and indirectly more than $12,000 to assure that the liver trnsplant with quality pediatric care could be provided in early December 2016.

In mid-October 2017 I visted with Brielle and her terrific family in the Visayas Region of the Philippines where she and her mother Lissette are full of life and cheerful energy.  Nearly one year after the surgery, Brielle is now on her way to becoming a fully healthy child.  Lissette asked me to convey a message to all who gave their love, prayers and financial support to assure that Brielle could become a symbol of hope:  "Thank you for showing us that the world is full of beautiful noble people like you."

This holiday season, we rejoice in the lives of little Brielle and Mom Lissette.  We have renewed our commitment to children with rare and life-threatening diseases.  We hope that you will be uplifted by this true life victory and that you will continue to be part of our healing support team in 2018 and beyond.   

With much love and appreciation to you all.

Brielle with Mom Lissette
Brielle with Mom Lissette
Baby Brielle After Liver Transplant
Baby Brielle After Liver Transplant

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Jhian, age 3, undergoing treatment , House of Hope
Jhian, age 3, undergoing treatment , House of Hope

Children recovering from a terminal disease such as cancer are an inspiration, not only to their families but also to their entire communities.  Asia America Initiative has brought together doctors, nurses, volunteers and donors who hail from many walks of life and numerous cultures.  In Davao, Philippines, the House of Hope is a center to sustain life for hundreds of children each year though its partner medical center, the Children's Cancer Inistute within the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the largest public hospital in Mindanao.  SPMC is the the only such medical facility for a population base of over 25 million people that has the ability to provide pediatric cancer treatment and long-term multi-specialty care.  

In addition, AAI has been supporting clusters of child patients with rare genetic diseases in Manila at the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders and individual cases, such as Baby Brielle, in the Central Region of Visayas. We are happy to report that 9 months following Brielle's liver transplant surgery, her health condition has stabilized and she is a fully active little girl.  Her Mother, Lissette, has a profound gratefulness to our GlobalGiving donors across the world whose contributions and prayers led to a wonderful recovery for little Brielle.  Her Mom, who was the liver donor to save her daughter's life, is also doing well and is now continuing her education to be a pediatric medical doctor.  

"We are so blessed to have friends around the world," says Lissette, "who have provided the essential support to make God's miracle of life for my child possible.   My family thanks you from the bottom of of our hearts."

Jhian and Dad at House of Hope in Davao
Jhian and Dad at House of Hope in Davao
AAI Dir. Santoli visits House of Hope, July 2017
AAI Dir. Santoli visits House of Hope, July 2017
Jhian and friends at House of Hope, July 2017
Jhian and friends at House of Hope, July 2017
Medical team at House of Hope, July 2017
Medical team at House of Hope, July 2017
Brielle and Mom recovering health after surgery
Brielle and Mom recovering health after surgery

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Little Brielle recoverin in Taiwan Hospital
Little Brielle recoverin in Taiwan Hospital
One month after her life saving liver transplant surgery in Taiwan, 4 year old Brielle from the Philippines and her organ-donor Mom, Lissette, 28, are steadily gaining improved health and new opportunity for Brielle to have the miracle of quality of life. The mother and daughter remain under dfoctors' care with an ongoing regimen of blood tests and specialized medicines. GlobalGiving donors have had a major role in this uplifing example of why every human life matters in the battle against cancer and rare diseases.
Mom Lissette has asked us to share her gratefulness in her recovery diary.

March 22-25, 2017

DAY 33

Brielle is getting back to her chirpy little self day by day despite being waken up by her nightmares every night. But this morning was different... For a long time after being haunted twice at by her traumatic experiences, she smiled while still asleep at around 5 am. We are grateful that she was able to have beautiful dreams again. At 9 am, she had another blood test done and abdominal ultrasound was also performed which revealed normal results. 

DAY 34
Brielle had a fever of 38•C  early in the morning. But subsequent temperature readings for the rest of the day revealed within normal range temperature readings 

DAY 35
No more fever  Thank you dear Lord for your everyday miracles  We were told today that the administration of her antibodies will be delayed since she had an episode of fever. No worries. God's plans and timings are always perfect  We already surrendered everything to you Lord.

DAY 36
Brielle added something new to her egg and rice + malunggay [highly nutritious moringa plant] powder diet (breakfast-lunch-dinner) because she wouldn't eat anything else. Today she decided to eat 3 and 1/2 bananas  Consitently no fever  Just a tantrum because she won't stop watching cartoons...tsk tsk... Mom's discipline mode ON 
As we enter As we enter 
Mom and Baby Brielle
Mom and Baby Brielle

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Mom Lissette and Brielle
Mom Lissette and Brielle

In the Philippines, 4-year old Brielle needs a liver transplant surgery to save her life from a rare illness. The surgery must be conducted as soon as possible in a Taiwan hospital specializing in children's diseases. Her doctors say, without this surgery in early 2017, it is unlikely that Brielle can survive.  AAI, through GlobalGiving donors, has helped raised enough to help pay the surgery costs. For this, we send our deepest gratitude.  Now what remains of our effort is to raise $950 for post-surgical medicines and care. [See GlobalGiving mini-project #26329 "Support a New year With Life for baby Brielle."

Her liver donor is her mother, Lissette, who has postponed her clinical training as a young graduate from medical school, in order to give full care and love to her daughter.  On December 18, 2016, , Lissette has written a message of hope and appreciation to all of our Global Giving donors:

 "Good day, Noble Donors!  We are Joseph and Lissette the parents of Brielle. To those who have donated to our cause, we are forever grateful for your heartwarming love, time and generosity.

Brielle is currently diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome, this is a progressive disease affecting the liver, and it also affects other organ systems such as the heart, bones, ears, kidneys, and eyes. The only definite treatment for her progressive illness is a liver transplant which should be done as soon as possible to prevent further complications of the illness and for her to have a big chance to still live a normal life.

 "We plan to have the liver transplant done in Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. We are appealing for your compassion to help our baby Brielle get her liver transplant, a life saving gift for her this Christmas season.  Asia America Initiative has extended their generosity to save our Little Sunshine, Brielle, above and beyond what could be expected.  

 Thank you, GlobalGiving Donors,  so much for untiringly supporting our family. Have a blessed merry Christmas and a very happy New Year! May God bless you and your families for your kindness!"

 

 

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Distributing AAI toys on pediatric cancer ward
Distributing AAI toys on pediatric cancer ward

Christmas eve of 2016 was a wondrous time for more than 100 children undergoing cancer treatment at House of Hope in Davao, Philippines and their families. Many come from surrounding provinces where indigent farm laborers have been victimized by cancer-causing chemicals sprayed in the agriculture fields. Other children were born with leukemia and lymphoma. The small but overcrowded center, attached to a government hospital in Davao, is the only treatment facility for more than 2,000 such children between infancy and teenage years.  While medicines are provided by the Davao government, other necessities must be provided by private organizations and volunteers, who range from elementary school students to senior citizens.  Overseas humanitarian organizations such as Asia America Initiative and One World Institute help to cover the cost of essential materials such as ward decorations, story- and coloring books, games and toys.  Most of the children have never owned a toy due to their family's poverty.  "It is a true blessing to be able to assist these children," says Pidot Villocino, the volunteer coordinator for the AAI-OWI assistance programs at House of Hope. "Their smiles are truly genuine."

This Christmas season a series of parties and toy distributions at House of Hope were created by Asia America Initiative, partners in Davao and the One World Institute. AAI is a "peacebuilding and educational" organization by official definition. Some people might say, "It is not our job."  But we cannot ignore the needs of children with life-threatening diseases. Although we are not medical professionals, we understand that laughter and joy not only help children undergoing chemotherapy with courage and a stuffed animal to be their friend when they are in pain and alone. We have witnessed that sometimes laughter and joy are as important as medicine to generate the mental and physical healing of cancer that medical doctors cannot explain.  We believe that miracles can be sparked by kindness and love.  

Thanks to our Global Giving donors, we continue monthly nutrition and supplemental medicines for children with rare diseases in Manila through the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders all year round.  And this week, in addition to the Christmas toys to assist more than 300 kids at House of Hope, we ask that you not forget to assist us and please donate through our main Cancer Treatment Project #8496 on Global Giving's website. Your support especially helps during the last week of 2016 so that we are "powered-up" to continue and expand our work with these great kids during 2017!! 

Christmas Eve party at House of Hope
Christmas Eve party at House of Hope
Volunteers of all ages at House of Hope
Volunteers of all ages at House of Hope
under chemo therapy. comfort from stuffed toy
under chemo therapy. comfort from stuffed toy
baby under care at House of Hope
baby under care at House of Hope
boy undergoing chemo with Mom and stuffed toy
boy undergoing chemo with Mom and stuffed toy

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, D.C United States
$49,913 raised of $60,000 goal
 
816 donations
$10,087 to go
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