₱175,500raised of ₱1,500,000.00 goal goal
Hi! My name is Jigette Francia E. Alvarez. I’m a 24-year old breadwinner who lives in the Philippines. I am an only child, a partner, and a fur parent.
My family and I are kindly asking for your financial support to help me get a life-saving surgery.
I have been battling Rheumatic Heart Disease for 10 years now. I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed. I became weak, constantly suffering with chest pain, with an enlarged heart. Life as I knew it, collapsed. I felt like my future was taken from me, and I had to restructure my life plans to accommodate my illness. We are poor, so we struggled accessing health care. But with the community’s help and the generosity of others, I was able to prolong my life with open heart surgery, aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair last 2014.
Despite this, I never let my disability hold me back. One month after my surgery, I went back to finish senior high school, graduate, and enroll in college. Living in a 3rd world country meant that I had to graduate college for a chance to secure a job. My entire high school and college years, I balanced having a full scholarship and managing my illness. This means growing up fast, and sacrificing experiences to make sure whatever energy, time, and finances my illness allows were focused on doing good in classes. Thankfully, I graduated in 2019, but that’s when I started experiencing terrible lower back pains and shortness of breath.
I thought that life was starting to get better. I started working and earning money. I was able to put food on our table, a roof on our head, finance and earn medical expenses for me and my parents. However, during the pandemic, my back pain started to get worse. I could not straighten my back, move freely, and walk 5 steps without being breathless and having chest pains.
In January 2021, I left my first job after one year to move on to teaching. Three months in and I was sent to the emergency room for heart failure. I started having cardiac syncope and terrible back pain to the point that I could not stand anymore. Several times I pass out and have seizures from low heart rate. I had to leave my job to get diagnosed and start healing.
In August 2021, I tested positive for HLA-B27. I was finally diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Takayasu's Arteritis, and Antiphospholipid Syndrome. I was diagnosed with three autoimmune diseases on top of my Rheumatic Heart Disease.
At this point, I had little to no pulse on my left body side, and had significant carotid stenosis. I underwent Pulse therapy, started taking steroids and new medications that led me to form a perianal abscess. I endured so much pain and almost died from blood loss. This situation mentally and financially drained me.
I welcomed 2022 jobless, broke, and with new diseases I have yet to manage. I thought I had hit rock bottom until our neighborhood, and the place I was renting for me and my family burned down. I wish I was joking or making this up, but it did happen. We were only able to save a few items.
At this point, I had no choice but to be resilient. I am the breadwinner and I had to fight back. I moved in with my partner and looked for a job right away. I was managing my diseases and managing my depression from all the challenges I’ve been facing, while presenting my best at my new job as a virtual assistant. I was just starting to earn again when I had to undergo another abscess draining.
Come November 2022, I was starting to do good in my new job and earning a bit.
However, my chest pains started to get worse, and it was found out that my aortic prosthetic valve has severe regurgitation. My time is running out – I need a new valve to replace the one they gave me in 2014. I have to undergo a second open heart surgery just like I did in 2014.
According to my cardiologist, I need the operation as soon as possible.
The sooner, the better -- due to my autoimmune diseases, it is best to get the surgery done ASAP to lessen the risks.
This is where you come in the story. It is my greatest regret not being able to earn from my previous jobs. The amount for my required operation is too great while covering me and my family’s necessities, all the while managing my autoimmune diseases and recent hospitalizations.
Me and my loved ones are asking for your help in extending my life.
All donations will be funding my operation which is estimated to be 1.5 Million Philippine Pesos. (27,017.30 USD as of 03/05/23, check medical cert in images) All excess will go to post-operative physical therapy, maintenance medications, funding my Ankylosing Spondylitis medication: Secukinumab, and also for my parent’s expenditure while I am out of commission. (My parents are old and sickly as well with no steady income.)
In the worst case scenario, funding will also cover my funeral expenses and a way to support my parents. (I hate to be macabre, but this is also a possibility.)
Thank you for reading up until now. I should have put up this campaign earlier, but just reminiscing about everything that led up to this point was taxing. I WANT to live longer. I want to love and be loved for a longer time – longer than the time my illnesses dictate. I will continue to fight, and ask that you fight with me.
Me and my loved ones thank you for your generosity.
Please feel free to reach out to me for any clarifications and questions about my illness, story, and or anything under the sun through these channels:
Email: [email protected]
FB: Jet Alvarez
For Local and Direct Donations
GCash: 09612799700 - Jigette Francia Alvarez
Paymaya: 09612799700 - Jigette Francia Alvarez
UnionBank: 1094 8593 3204 - Jigette Francia Esplanada Alvarez
When I was a 3rd grader in our small town in Ragay, I saved an old English book about to be burned due to being outdated. That is where I read the story of Sadako and the Thousand paper cranes. TLDR; Sadako was a victim of war and was one among thousands who was greatly affected by the atomic bomb. She tried to fold 1000 paper cranes so the gods would grant her wish to get live forever. Sadly, she died shortly afterwards, but her family buried her with more than 1,000 paper cranes. She also became the symbol of hope in Japan's peace park. In a way, her wish was granted. The story always stuck with me. It gave me hope and strength, and I want to thank you by sending an origami of a paper crane with a short message inside to give back some of the hope you gave me and my loved ones. - Jet
- Jigette Francia Alvarez
Bus CrashUpdate posted by Jigette Francia Alvarez at 08:23 pm
Hello! It's been a few months before I had the strength to post this update.May 7, 2023. I was on the way to the Philippine Heart Center for my pre-operation checkup. We were trying to find out if I was ready to be prepped for surgery and if my budget. . . . .
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