It’s a 50% Match!

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The result is out! It’s a 50% match.

I made a quick consult with the HOPE Coordinator in NKI since the doctor was not around. She mentioned that technically, the transplant can proceed. However, there is a catch. It would mean higher maintenance costs for ongoing immuno-suppresants and anti-rejection medicine of my mother.

So we can say that %match is inversely proportional to $ maintenance. Unfortunately, our current donor is non-related. It was consistent with the heads up given to us by NKI Social Service. Non-related or deceased donors give lower percentage of cross-match. (See why I can’t donate for now.)

According to NKI Social Service and the HOPE Coordinator, we have to prepare 75-80k a month! At this rate, we can only support the maintenance costs until end of the year. On the other hand, if the donor was related, we can spend 20-30k which is rather manageable, the cost is almost the same as her current dialysis.

So now my relatives and I are in a thinking mode. (1) Should we proceed with the transplant given the consequence or (2) should we postpone and find a relative that could give us a higher % match thus lowering maintenance costs?

Currently, we are inclined to do the first option as my mother really needs the transplant. At least this procedure will save her and recover her normal life while time permits it. How to patch up our monthly budget is a different story. We can always try to find ways again to make ends meet.

What do you think? I think this begins Chapter 2 of our Kidney Journey!

Side Note:

1.  There is another set of lab test results that shows positive CMV IgG and EBV IgG for the donor but I know not what they mean. Google says it has something to do with the presence of antibodies. I just hope they are not show-stoppers.

2.  There are still post cross-match tests required before the said transplant like CT Scan and Angiogram. Much preparation must be done too like the patient’s logistics before and after the transplant.

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One Kidney Wasted!

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What a shame!

That pilot who refused to accept kidneys aboard with the NKTI doctors is unforgivably ignorant! Does he not know the pain and the sacrifice patients and donors go through in the process of kidney donation?

That airline who inconsiderately and wrongly executes the imposition of their regulations  is guilty of endangering life. Do they not know that a patient’s survival depends on that kidney in the same way that their passengers’ safety depends on their pilot during the flight?

If they say that NKTI failed to package the organs safely, could they not offer to repack the organs in a way that satisfies their controls?

Shame on you Capt. Reuben Locson! Shame on you Cebu Pacific! You are not just ignorant but you are at fault in case something unfavorable happened to Mr. Joe Honrobio. Shame on you!

News Video:

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/nation/09/01/10/cebu-pacific-hit-refusing-carriage-kidneys

News Report:

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/08/31/10/pilot-refuses-carriage-docs-smelly-kidneys

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When Prayers Do Not Get Answered

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It was unfortunate that Auntie Nene did not make it as my mother’s donor. The doctor said her kidneys were already in the process of calcification and small particles of stones were already visible. Although they can still be treated through medications, the risk for kidney donation rests and remains. Therefore, no transplant happened on August.

We were all devastated. The test results were not expected as Auntie Nene already went through the same sets of tests last January and there were no signs of kidney calcification whatsoever. She went to Manila with my mother in the hope that their case was already near confirmation only to find out that six months after the initial tests, things have already changed.

We honestly felt betrayed. We felt that our prayers were not answered. Is it over now?

No! Well, not yet. I still would like to believe that this is not the answer to our prayers. Last June, a miracle happened with the help of my friends. We temporarily overcame financial difficulties and it allowed us to carry on. It does not make sense that after that miracle, the answer is ‘No’. Perhaps, the answer is ‘Wait, it’s not yet time’ or ‘Wait, better things are yet to come’.

On July 17, we left Manila in the hope to find new donors from our relatives and friends in Davao and GenSan.

At this point, we are but holding on to our faith. When prayers do not get answered, the best thing to do is to look back and trace little blessings that came along.  Discern if indeed the answer is a ‘No’. Going through the process, I can see that our situation now is entirely a different fight already but it is within the same original battle. It is not yet over I know and the battle continues…

I believe!

The Meaning of Hope

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– As delivered during the closing remarks of A Song of Hope –

I am Archie and my mother is the one whose healing we are all wishing for tonight. At this point, allow me to personally thank you because your presence here reminds me that indeed there are many reasons to celebrate and appreciate life no matter how hopeless life’s situations could be. You may be wondering how I am able to cope with these challenges from the time my mother was diagnosed to have ESRD or kidney failure, until this moment when I am standing in front of you where the future still looks very much uncertain. I also ask myself the same question from time to time and looking back how things have been for me and my mother, the answer surely remains in Him and in us. God surely has a plan. And this plan only becomes possible when friends and families gather in one place to realize His purpose. This is what A Song of Hope is all about. More

A Song Of Hope: A Benefit Concert

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Imagine organizing a concert in a week’s time and yet the intent and objective were pulled off! This is another miracle. Thank you very much to Leslie Gabe and Gids Bendecion for making this benefit concert possible. And for my friend Bianca Roble for being the emcee during the night.

The event gave me a surreal feeling. It felt like the heavens came down and rendered their ethereal melodies. Unfortunately, my mother was not able to make it that night as she took a rest coming from a tiring workup in NKI. Nevertheless, I called her up and allowed her to listen to the performances of Anima, Baihana, Chorus Paulinus, Coro de Sta. Cecilia and the Sitio Payong Children’s choir. It surely gave her a certain level of healing.

Witness one of the performances that night through the video below:

Miracles Happen

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A kidney transplant costs almost a million pesos. My mother needs a kidney transplant. I am the breadwinner of the family.

Now how can I ever make the transplant happen? I need a miracle! That’s what I just need and yes, that’s what actually just happened.

Around the last week of May this year, Auntie Raquel coordinated with NKI Social Service and endorsed my mother’s case. Their department is in charge of transplant subsidies for deserving families who need kidney transplant. Within a week, NKI called and requested my mother and Auntie Nene, the prospect donor, to appear for an interview. Right after the interview, NKI accepted my mother’s case and they gave us a discounted transplant package. The cost was significantly reduced.

A few weeks after that, I wrote a letter about my mother and published it in Facebook for fund-raising. I was hesitant at first due to the exposure it could bring us but if that was what it takes to save my mother’s life, then so be it. We received both moral and financial support although I already expected it would take us months to achieve our goal.  But in just about 3 weeks, we were able to reach the target amount and we were able to secure the transplant cost.

Who knew that this will happen? Indeed, miracles happen! It exists among a group of individuals unified by one goal. And the one force that allows miracles to happen is God! Everyday, I make offerings by saying the holy rosary. Each mystery is dedicated to a personal intention and the last mystery is reserved for the intentions of others. I lift up this sacrifice in deep faith that God will make a way. And surely He does.  If we believe in Him and truly remain in Him, what seems to be impossible can be made possible!

Current resources may be depleted in time but I know He will continue to be my force as long as I continue to fight! Alone, we cannot save my mother’s life. But in Him and with Him, rest assured that we can.

To sum it up, I want to share a video from the movie Joseph, King of Dreams. Like our kidney journey, it all started with a dream. As the lines of the song would say, “We have to give a little more than we take. You’re just a player in a much bigger plan, and still you have to give it all that you can”.

Believe and miracles do happen.

The Healing Mass

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It started with a reunion with college friends in Joandrea’s birthday party. When they asked me how I was doing, I told them that I had been finding ways to make ends meet so that the transplant will happen for my mother. After the party, we went to a coffee shop and they started to make a proposal:  “Let us spread a letter for your mother and hold a healing mass for her.”

And the plan was done. The letter was published in Facebook (see above ‘The Letter’) and the healing mass was held in Ateneo College Chapel on June 27, 2010. This ignited the start of God’s miracles.

In the mass, after Fr. Jun Viray, SJ laid over his hands to my mother for healing, she said, “Para akong natanggalan ng tinik habang dinasalan ako ni Father.”

I will attach here the homily by Bro. IJ Chan-Gonzaga soon.

To Judith, Jackie, Jaypee, Karen and Bianca, thank you for helping me organize the event!

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