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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Sep 25, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I finally got a chance to get a snapshot of the huge cancerous mass that my mom was carrying. Because of your help, this monstrous thing killing her quickly was taken out of her uterus. Now she stands a chance to have treatment options like chemotherapy.

I would like to share this not to gross you out, but maybe as an encouragement to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here is the humungous cancerous mass (the nurse's torso in the background to scale how large or massive it has turned):

Her uterus has completely disintegrated and so are her ovaries and almost her entire reproductive system. Her stomach's stitch was much longer than what she had to undergo during me and my sister's Caesarian births.

You helped save her life, literally, with all these donations. If I did not have this crowdfunding page and you did not help me raise the fund on time, this would have climbed everywhere else with its aggressive nature. It is frightening to look at this humungous mass of cancer tumor but it reminds me of how people came through and how she was saved by your kindness.

Again, thank you so much for helping save her life. I stopped the fund raising early but I consider this campaign as a success.

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Sep 18, 2016

Thank you so much. Here is my mother in the recovery room yesterday at 6:30am (my old high school classmate happened to be an anesthesiologist so I got this shot from him via Facebook) and back in her hospital room in the afternoon of the same day.

Thank you so much for your donations here at Go Get Funding. You all helped make this possible. I cannot return the money but I can only hope that you will be richly rewarded for your generosity to our family in this great time of need.

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Sep 13, 2016

Hello again, everyone! Mom was supposed to have her operation last Friday after almost 2 weeks of waiting in line for a PGH room. However, she failed the pulmonary clearance due to pneumonia. They needed to treat the lung issue for 7 days using antibiotics because she will have cardiac arrest if they forced the operation in her abdomen last Friday.

I am just hoping for the best this Friday. With your help, I was also able to secure blood bags from Red Cross for her upcoming procedure aside from covering the main procedure fees. I thank you so much for helping us out. This option will not even be a reality if not for your donations. Her other alternative was to spend 6 months waiting in line for a room to free up in the charity ward, and she did not have 6 months considering the severity of her situation. Hoping that the financial assistance program requirements are in process now to shoulder her chemotherapy and other future expenses.

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Sep 06, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday, my mother was finally able to reach the top of the queue! She started at slot #21 ten days ago for the paid option of Philippine General Hospital (I call this the "fast lane" of PGH).

Your donations allowed me to save her 6 months of waiting in line for a room. In reality, she does not have six months to wait given the urgency of her life or death situation. Your contribution is helping her have a fighting chance to extend her life and this means the world to me, considering our situation.

The challenge is now in finding blood bag replacements so I am calling up friends who pledged to donate their blood 3 weeks ago. She will be needing around 5-6 bags and each bag takes 12 hours to transfuse. Her operation schedule is this September 9, and we are truly hoping for the best. I hope she makes it. We have already done everything humanely possible online in raising funds and getting financial aid.

Aside from the financial support, I got a lot of moral support and information about the vicissitudes of this illness and the healthcare system of the Philippines. Even the tiniest gestures like encouraging words from Facebook Messenger is huge to me considering the heaviness of this crisis. To say that the whole experience is an educational experience is an understatement.

Again, thank you so much for helping us. All these funds I have collected are now in the hands of my cousin Joan. She is the one doing the legwork because I am bedridden three hours away from where my mother is currently confined.

With profuse gratitude,

Helen, Mommy Lynne, and Baby Santi

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Aug 30, 2016

I started this fund raising campaign last week for my mom. None of the money goes to my son, because my husband and I have taken that as our responsibility as parents to be. The books for sale and my DSLR camera sale proceeds will go to my son and that's enough.

All the funds that came from here go directly to the cousin in charge of managing my mom's operation.

I wrote this campaign at the time she was held in a hospital and they were asking for a minimum of Php 300,000 (roughly $8,000) to let her stay in their facility to do the life saving operation. I was not able to meet their deadline so I discharged my mom from the hospital and transferred her to the government facility PGH. They required 150,000 pesos for the urgent operation or roughly half of the amount I initially posted online.

Considering that the main objective is to raise funds this one time for that single procedure, I think that the campaign's objective has been completely achieved.

She is now lined up (14th in line yesterday for a hospital bed, last I checked) at PGH's paying facility. After that, there will be PCSO and PAGCOR financial assistance for the other requirements. There will be subsequent treatments after they get the cancerous mass out and tell us her chances of survival and the odds of chemotherapy killing off the cancer that is killing her.

As a daughter, I live three hours away from where my mother lives after I got married. But even if I am bedridden and also fighting to save my baby's life, I simply refused to believe that I just need to listen to classical music and be deaf to my mother's needs during this painful time in her life. So I turned to this crowdfunding initiative to help save her life after I did not get any tangible financial support from those who are closest to us once me and my husband's funds bled dry, including my childbirth expense.

BUT I must also acknowledge and emphasize that while we were able to secure her a fighting chance out of the generosity of this campaign's donors, this fund raising campaign was NOT in any way designed to sustain everything or promote complacency among other family members who need to do their part to help out in this crisis.

You all came through during this time of need as donors, but I refuse to continue the drive if the means have somehow already been achieved.

The future provisions from approval of financial assistance programs are there and it needs to be used. I just secured the urgent funding from this campaign for one crucial life saving operation. I am not going to raise funds habitually every time she needs help.

I just made sure that this one crucial time, the relatives back there at home will stop pointing fingers on who should shoulder the hospital bill for my mom and get her the help that she deserves with this jumpstarted fund. Because that's what they did last month when I tried to quietly raise funds at home as my mom's situation worsened, even when one of them can in fact afford to pay for my mom's operation twice at PGH. That's the painful reality of this situation. That bit of truth hurt more than my mother's cancer diagnosis. The ironic thing was that it was the bipolar and bedridden pregnant woman who saw the urgency of this operation. I will not regret exposing ourselves publicly because it gave her a fighting chance.

On my end, I have done what I can, even more than what I can technically do given my bedridden state. And the baby needs me to rest and resume my other freelance initiatives so that I can recover the childbirth money that was used up during this crisis.

I thank you profusely for helping us out from the bottom of my heart. I will keep posting updates on where the money went.

If there are still people who want to donate, I am most thankful and I will just give you my mother's bank account so that she can receive them directly. As of the moment, my husband is transferring all the money we have raised for my mom.

Plan B for the funds raised: If anything unfortunate or tragic happens to her and the money is not used up for her operation, I will re-donate the money to another urgent medically related crowdfunding campaign here to save another life. I am hoping for the best, but we have to accept that at this stage, anything can happen.

I just have to close this down and do some measures to focus on my baby this time around. I will not forget your generosity to us in this great time of need. I spent a few months focused on the old life (my mom).

I now have to rechannel my energies to focus on the new life (my unborn child) who is just about to see the world for the very first time in January.

He deserves a fresh lease in life, and he deserves a healthy uterine environment that I can only provide if I do my complete bed rest requirements.

God bless you all for your donations, and thank you so much. You are all amazing and unforgettable.

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Aug 27, 2016

My mom is 21st in line for her scheduled operation at PGH. Thanks to your donations, I can now safely have her confined without fear that she will be turned away by the hospital for lack of funds. :)

I am also preparing for her subsequent therapy. My stepfather and other relatives are working on the paper requirements for the PCSO, PAGCOR, and other financial assistance programs. Also, I am selling stuff on my Facebook account.

I have an ongoing book sale in this link: https://www.facebook.com/jeng.labaobarrameda/media... In case you know of people who like books :) Shipping via LBC or pickup from my home. Dibs system for the books by liking the photo of the book you want and commenting with "Mine!"

I am also selling my DSLR Camera for 12,000 including tripod and an 18-55 mm lens. Pickup from my home. :) Interested buyers may text me at 09176298777. :)

So yes, that's it for the updates on this one. I will keep updating you guys. Thanks for giving my mommy a fighting chance to see her first grandson this January with your donations. :)

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Aug 23, 2016

Hi again everyone. I spent today transferring the donation to my cousin's bank account. None of the money remains with me. Everything goes to this operation of hers and I do not plan to habitually raise funds. Just this one time because it's a life or death situation if the mass is not taken out of her uterus.

My cousin Joan is the one currently working on my mother's PGH hospitalization. I will be getting scans of receipts and her medical reports from her so that I can post it in this page. I have never done a fund raising effort before. But I believe in accountability and I want everyone to know where the money went. I don't want to just get the money and then leave this page hanging without some update of what happened to my mom.

I will keep updating this page so that you know. My husband and I are amazed at the speed of response to our cry for help. When I made this page, I was just trying my luck. I was just hoping I can add a few hundreds or get some amount to buy her medication. But people came through. It's a humbling experience.

So, PGH it is. It's a paid ward but there is still a long queue of people there. We are still hoping that we can get an insider to expedite things and put her on the operating room as soon as possible. The money I raised was half what Kidney Institute asked last week, but it's enough to have her operation in PGH because they charge half of the amount. I am hoping that after that single operation for which I organize this fund campaign, the PCSO and PAGCOR financial assistance programs will come in and help out for the remaining procedures.

I talked to my Mom this morning. I have not been speaking with her on the phone last week because I feared that I will break down in tears while talking to her. But time is really short right now and I cannot hug her physically given our bedridden states. If you are reading this and your mother is still alive, find time and give her a call or hug her in person. These moments are so precious and life is so short. =(

Being 3 hours apart, I had to be content in hearing her voice even just for 5 minutes per day. She sounds so weak and like she is in so much pain. I just want to hug her but it's not possible. It's so hard. I am literally relying on relatives who volunteer to watch over her and accompany her as she goes through this cancer battle.

Right now, my mother is going to be admitted overnight at the Kidney Institute again for the CT scan. Supposedly, this is an outpatient procedure where she will only have to line up in a corridor. Given the circumstances, she is so sick that she cannot walk anymore and even these basic procedures or lab work require that she be admitted in the hospital overnight and be whisked off in a wheelchair. They needed to put a suppository tablet on her anus and given her extreme pain, this is proving to be a huge challenge that will need an overnight preparation.

Her formal biopsy results will be this Friday and that's going to be a pivotal moment for the family because we have to make a decision about the flow of her treatment after her mass debulking operation in PGH. You guys helped me make that money materialize so that she can still possibly extend her life.

Last week before I opened this fund raising campaign, I already spent the last of our savings. My husband and I turned from sad to worried to downright desperate. As our bank accounts dwindled, we were so scared with the number of medical emergencies that my mother started to have more frequently.

This week, I am making an inventory of stuff that I am going to sell so that I can add to the fund for my mom's hospitalization and somehow recover a fraction of my baby's childbirth money for January. I am only keeping the car because we need it in case there is no ambulance and she has an emergency (this happened already last July), the laptop because I use it to write articles, and the phone because I use it to coordinate with my cousin Joan, sister Harvey, and stepfather.

Since I broadcasted this fund campaign at When in Manila, I gave my cellphone number and I found new friends who text and encourage me to stay strong in the midst of this crisis. I am so thankful for all your messages of encouragement.

We are literally being saved by the mercy and kindness of strangers and friends with this campaign. I will never forget this, no matter what the outcome.

I got a lot of medical opinions and the prognosis is a little worrisome. They are asking me to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

I cannot really return all this money you donated when I am fit for fulltime work next year, but I hope that you will have blessings by the thousandfold for this help you have extended. I am immensely astounded with the number of people who helped me out in this painful and difficult time.

I will keep updating you guys. I cannot in good conscience leave this page hanging and not tell you how things are.

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Update posted by Helen Mary Barrameda On Aug 20, 2016

Thank you so much for helping us. I was forced to have my mom discharged from the hospital (National Kidney Institute) because the Php 300,000 required for her single operation was too expensive. Instead, the doctor encouraged us to transfer her to PGH with two options: charity ward or paying. Charity ward based on my extensive research and reviews from bloggers requires at least 6 months just to get a room reservation because of the number of patients unless you have an insider to help you bump the patient up in the queue. So our option was to go the paid PGH route and prepare a minimum of Php 150,000. Right now, the fund value is at Php 134,000 so I can finally schedule her for her first operation next week.

I am also selling my books and whatever properties that I can sell or convert into cash to expedite the fund raising efforts.

Aside from this, we are getting the formal biopsy results next week which is one of the paper requirements for PAGCOR, PCSO or other forms of private and government financial assistance. There are also other documents that have to be taken from the barangay hall and a full photocopy of all her medical history. I am working on that too so that her next hospitalization after this crucial operation will finally be covered by some form of financial aid. I am truly hoping that after these documents have been completed and this initial crucial operation to save her life is over, we can already begin preparing for the long-term therapy that will run from months to years with the other efforts.

Again, I thank you profusely from the bottom of my heart. This fund you have helped me raise is saving my mother and baby's life. I hope that God will bless you for all these contributions. Thank you.

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