Pandemic makes life tougher for boy with leukemia
Jaerah Altoveros, a 6-year-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, has spent most of his time at the hospital since he was diagnosed with the disease in 2019.
Despite his young age and illness, his determination to continue his studies is unwavering.
Compared to the first few months upon his diagnosis, when he became too thin with all his joints and limbs swollen, Altoveros is now much healthier and able to walk properly, said his mother, Melissa Alindato.
“When we’re at the medical facility, he wants to have something to do so we bring school materials he can work on while we’re waiting,” she added. Altoveros recently graduated from kindergarten at the National Orthopedic Hospital School for Crippled Children.
The boy has completed intensive chemotherapy and is currently undergoing a 14-cycle maintenance chemotherapy, twice a week every two months. But due to the pandemic lockdown imposed in March 2020, Alindato’s live-in partner, Aaron, lost his job as a company driver, making it more difficult for their family of six to make ends meet.
“We really cannot afford Jaerah’s medical needs, which consist of an expensive brand of milk, let alone our everyday meals,” said Alindato, whose shelter is made up of patched tents located on a vacant lot beside her in-law’s house.
“It’s difficult because we are just squatting here. When it rains, it also pours inside our house,” she said.
Altoveros is scheduled to undergo the third cycle of his maintenance chemotherapy in August. Every cycle costs between P10,000 and P16,000, depending on the equipment and medicines needed.
To help pay for the boy’s medical expenses, donations can be deposited in his father’s BDO account (Aaron Altoveros, account no. 006900157407). Alindato can be contacted at 0912-7713959.
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