Teenager who beat cancer diagnosed with leukemia

Charme Paz Ortega

Charme Paz Ortega

After becoming a widow in 2011, Charito Ortega worked as a house helper in Valenzuela City to support her three children aged 17, 15 and 12, whom she left behind in Sibalom, Antique.

The eldest, Vardy, later stopped his schooling due to financial constraints. The second, France Charlie, got a scholarship and graduated in March from the University of Antique with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree.


The youngest, Charme Paz, whose education was being financed by Ortega’s employer, was diagnosed in February last year with Hodgskin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes.

“She was enrolled as an information technology student. One day, I was told that Charme could not breathe and eat because of a lymph node in her chest. It broke my heart and I decided to go home immediately,” Charito said.


Charito has since returned to Manila with Charme, who is seeking treatment. They are staying at Child House Foundation in Paco, Manila, which offers free lodging to patients and their families who do not have anywhere else to stay.

A year after completing chemotherapy at Philippine General Hospital, a biopsy showed that Charme, who is now aged 18, was negative for cancer. However, she was diagnosed with another ailment, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, recently.

Charme’s doctors have recommended that she undergo an eight-month-long chemotherapy program along with blood transfusions. Midway through treatment, she will need a CT scan and 2D-Echo test to determine her progress. For both procedures, Charito said she would have to raise P46,000 (P18,000 for chemotherapy and P28,000 for the CT scan and 2D-Echo).

“May I ask your readers for help because it is quite difficult to be a mother and father at the same time,” Charito said.

She can be reached at 0936-6407435. For those who want to help Charme, donations can be made to Charito Ortega’s Landbank account (Account No. 0596173373).

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