Farmer moves to Manila to seek treatment for son with leukemia
From farming rice fields in Oriental Mindoro province, Ariel Babao now waits on tables at a restaurant in Sta. Ana, Manila, to make it easier for his son, six-year-old Jhariel, to undergo chemotherapy at Philippine General Hospital.
After the boy was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, doctors recommended that he undergo chemotherapy every three weeks for three and a half years. He still has two years of treatment to go.
“I have been a waiter for six months but I don’t intend to do this for a long time. I miss my life as a farmer,” Babao said.
The 33-year-old Babao told the Inquirer that his salary as a waiter was just enough for their daily expenses and the rent for their apartment. His partner, Mary, looks after Jhariel and their other child, Zoe.
A recent medical emergency, however, forced Babao to borrow P18,000 from his employer so all of his pay goes into paying off his debt. “My son’s doctor thought there was liquid accumulating in Jhariel’s brain so he immediately underwent testing. Fortunately, it turned out to be a false alarm,” he said.
Babao asked readers for help in paying for the bone marrow test Jhariel must undergo monthly to help doctors monitor his condition. The test costs P11,200 while the family also needs P6,800 for his chemotherapy sessions every three weeks.
Babao can be reached at 0961-5465803. Deposits can be made to his PNB account number: 0117-1110-0000-1269.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.