Precious Juliana, or PJ as she is fondly called, is a 10-year-old with the courage of a lion. She lives with her parents, Lovejoy and Serapio, in Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines.
This beautiful girl is very clever and talented. Her academic and creative abilities are outstanding. Despite having difficulty walking, she enjoys dancing her heart out and playing with her friends - in particular, she’s developed a special relationship with Tilly, who is Louisa’s daughter. Her laugh and smiles are contagious and you can’t help but be drawn to her feisty spirit.
Despite her bright personality, PJ is suffering from multiple medical conditions that stop her from living her life as most healthy 10-year-olds. She is diagnosed with Spina Bifida, a congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone (lower spine closed meningocele).
Additionally, she is experiencing renal failure and chronic UTI’s due to long-term urethral catheterisation. Her kidneys are small due to urinary reflux. Her right leg and foot are also deformed, which are affecting her overall mobility.
I was able to attend a hospital appointment with PJ to know more about her condition and her options for treatment of her failing kidneys.
Yes, there are still treatments that PJ could access, but these would entail coming up with money which far exceeds her family’s monthly income. This doesn’t include what they would be shelling out regularly to continue treatments for PJ at home; an exorbitant amount that the family couldn’t even fathom.
Hearing all this in person was devastating and heartbreaking. At that point, doctors were putting a price on PJ’s life. This is something I wouldn’t wish on any parent. It was unimaginable and I personally couldn’t believe that this kind of situation was happening on this side of the world and to someone I cared about.
The current healthcare systems within the Philippines fail many hardworking families in terms of access to even the most basic care and services. I believe public hospitals are in dire need of resources, staff and equipment that can better cater to children like PJ.
What PJ needs
In every seemingly bleak situation, there is always hope that things will turn out better. We feel so strongly about PJ’s condition that we’ve created this campaign to ask for your help.
Among the treatments that PJ urgently needs is ongoing life-saving dialysis and also an ostomy created for urinary drainage. This is in addition to the medicines, medical supplies and other items for care that will be needed on a daily basis. Payments must be made upfront before we could proceed with any course of treatment.
We’d like to raise AU$10,000 that will go towards PJ’s treatments and post-operative care. Among the procedures that will be covered by this amount include:
- Admission to a private hospital’s intensive care unit that can facilitate the Ostomy surgery and provide dialysis and training for PJ’s mom who will care for her at home (roughly AU$12,000)
- Expenses related to ongoing care at home (roughly AU$200 per month)
PJ’s family and loved ones are working extra hard to make sure that her needs are being taken care of. And whilst we have already raised the first $2,000 to commence her treatment, it is difficult and almost impossible to find the amount needed in the time we have.
We believe that every dollar can make a difference in PJ’s life and can help ease the burdens her family are carrying right now. Please help us save PJ’s life so we can watch her grow into the beautiful brave lady she was destined to be.
And if you are unable to help, please share this campaign so that many kind-hearted people will get to know PJ.
If you’d like to know more about PJ and her condition, or if you’d like to help in kind, please feel free to contact Diane McIntee through email at [email protected].
Thank you for taking the time to read our campaign!
Message from Tilly
PJ and I first met around two years ago when I stayed in the Philippines for a couple of months. We started our friendship and I became closer to her day-by-day. She is an amazing, smart, kind and very beautiful young lady. We love doing weird things together, and having fun learning dances and performing them too!
Even if she can’t walk, she doesn’t let that affect her and she goes on to do things that she wants to do. She never gives up, and she’s such a fighter despite her condition. This is what I love about her, and it makes me proud to be her dear friend.
She’s one of my best playmates, and we help each other when we’re sad or bored.My life would never be the same, and it would be boring if I didn’t meet PJ.