The cafeteria in our university once led to a dusty car park, so we would walk with drink in hand to our block-mate Mike Enriquez’s van, keep the doors open, and just talk. Many a break we spent this way with Mike and Kate, his girlfriend, who would become his wife and the mother of his two children, Maika and Enzo. That was twenty years ago.
Like all friendships made in college, life and graduation set us apart. But life was getting better for Mike and Kate. Many of his friends from UA&P attended the baptism of Maika with a few standing as godparents. The little infant whom we had surrounded for photos at a church in Quezon City is now a lady.
But everything changed for the Enriquez family in September 2012. While in Cebu, Mike had his first seizure. An oligoastrocytoma tumor was discovered in his brain and he was expected to live just three months.
A third diagnosis revealed the tumor to be removable. Mike was operated on at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center and, for eight years after, regular MRIs revealed that the tumor had not recured. Doctors decided to stop anti-seizure medication in 2018. Life, it seems, had finally become kind again.
After eight years of recovery, Mike decided to return to work and very recently began training for a new job. Despite the pandemic, at least one part of his life was returning to normal. But this was not to be.
While training for his new job, Mike suffered a new “breakthrough” seizure after eight years of being seizure and tumor-free. He was rushed to Cardinal Santos where doctors returned him to a regimen of anti-seizure medications and frequent MRIs. His speech has not fully recovered.
The return of Mike’s seizures and the considerable expense of medication, frequent MRIs, and consultations has come at a very bad time. The COVID-19 pandemic led to Kate losing her job at a travel agency. Kate has been managing to pull her family through with part-time work and a cooked food business run from their kitchen.
Kate has been the sole breadwinner since Mike began his fight against brain cancer eight years ago. She has always been a strong woman. She did not ask for our help but was very grateful when we offered it. Any amount you send their way will help the Enriquez family not only with the expense of Mike’s treatment but will also help them endure until Kate finds steady employment.
If you know Mike, if you consider him a friend, please consider helping him and his family. If you don’t know Mike, we wholeheartedly thank you for your kindness to a stranger. We know that in this time of crisis, so many deserve our help. We pray that a few will turn their generosity toward our good friend and block-mate Mike, his wife Kate, and their children, Maika and Enzo.