- Saturday, May 18, 2013
- By Ion Gonzaga
- 1 Comments
Al Maya Group, thank you for your generous heart. They have shouldered the hospital expenses for Larry.
Here's what Larry had to say about what happened:
He is right, if we can use social media to build up something, we can definitely use this as a venue to help. You may also connect with him on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/larry.castro.39.
My name is Larry Castro, a 33-year-old,Filipino in Dubai currently suffering from Leukemia.Before I contracted this dreaded disease, I worked at Almaya, a UAE retailer, a shelf stocker at their Dubai Marina branch.
I have just one wish --that one day, I can turn back the hands of time that at least I tried to live a good fight...
My condition started with a simple fever in 2011,two years after I started losing weight. My gums started to bleed. I had on-and-off fever, I was rushed to Rashid Hospital in Dubai.The deafening truth struck me hard : the physician told me I was suffering from (AML) Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a common but deadly form of blood cancer if left untreated.
AML suffers, I'm told, are given only weeks or months to live as white blood cells.
On Oct.10, 2011, the day I was admitted, I cried upon learning the nearness of death.But I also hoped for something good -- a miracle -- to happen. I was not prepared financially.My salary was barely enough for my daily needs, let alone the hospital bills. My doctor recommended that I must undergo of chemotherapy immediate. Since then, I'd been lying in the Haematology Dept. (of Dubai Hospital) undergoing a series tests. The physicians advised me to undergo the 5th cycle of chemotherapy. During my confinement, I completed the 1st and 2nd cycles of chemo. These helped prolong my life. But only temporarily. Chemo may also damage my other heathy organs. I had episodes of confusion and agitation -- side effects of the treatement.
Doctors extracted a sample of my bone marrow to check the reaction of my 1st & 2nd chemo and sent it to Germany. This test confirmed my doctor's initial suspicion.This time, my doctor said I badly needed a BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT (BMT)
I told myself I'm not ready to let go my dreams go, to help my family live a confortable life. During my five-month confinement at Rashid Hospital (Oct. 10, 2011 to March 25, 2012), I went through five cycles of chemo.
I owe my strength to the undying help and prayers of doctors, nurses, friends from the church, my family,friends and relatives, especiall to my dearest friends.Upon discharge from Rashid Hospital on March 25, 2012, the physician advised me to have a monthly routine blood test check-up.
I'm extremely thankful to my company because they renewed my visa and also settled the Hospital bill -- the amount of which was Dh259,000.
Then, after a few days, I went back to work, with renewed vigour, hoping to start a new life.
Unfortunately, after one year and two weeks of my recovery, on April 7, 2013, I noticed one bruise on my right hand and felt pain in my gums again - the same symptoms I had before!
An hour after the check-up at Dubai Hospital, my physician said my platelet levels were dangerously low. On April 10, 2013, a bone marrow check was conducted to validate the unitial findings. The samples were again sent to Germany. I went back to work the next day. Four days later, in April 14, 2013, I was back in the hospital and the physician told me about results.
Thepronosis was poor - the bone marrow extract showed a condition condition consistent with relapsed AML. On the same day, they quickly inserted a Hickman Catheter on me to undergo chemotherapy. On April 15, I re-started on my first day of another chemo cycle which lasted until April 18, 2013.
Until now, I am waiting for my blood level to recover. A bone marrow sample will be extracted again to determine how many chemo treatements I need to undergo.
As I write this, I'm still here in Dubai Hospital, Haematology Dept., 7th floor, Room 10-B.
Sad to say, I don't know how to meet my financial obligations. And I don't know how and where to start, but I am positive.
Doctors said with finality that only a BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT can help me now for long-term recovery. But the cost for this treatement is prohibitive, upwards of Dh500,000.
Where will I get that money? How long must I wait -- and lose whatever healthy cells I'm left with -- to obtain the amount for a life-saving transplant?
Then an idea occurred to me: if I ask for help from those who dont know me, kindred spirits who might have nothing but charity to spare, perhaps it would help.
So I have a fervent appeal to you. Please help me to fight this disease. If you are unable to directly give, then perhaps you can someone who can.
It is a fervent appeal from someone who is down and out.
Every dirhams counts. It would mean the word to me. Your act of love will be a blessing for me. I will be forever grateful.
Please share this to friends. If social media can bring people together, I believe it can pull off a miracle too! GOD bless us all...
(My mobile no.
+971553010477 or Melanie
Your reward is in Heaven,
"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others." - Audrey Hepburn