Who is Norma?
She is Norma Gornal Gonzales. Mom to her kids, Dayne (21) and Vince (24), wife to Kuya Allen, sister to Ate Beth and Ate Nancy, and daughter to Auntie Doying, and the late Uncle Enzo. But to many of us, relatives from Bicol, friends from LaCo, the church, CSA, and Pru Life UK, among others, she is Baby. My ate Baby.
But she is not your ordinary tita/ate Baby.
Before the big C (Stage 4 Lung Cancer - Adenocarcinoma), her smiling face has always been a warm welcome to any crowd. At 51, she is still very pretty. Not telling this because she is sick, but because she really is. Match that to her beautiful heart, her always encouraging words, and indefinite wanting to please everybody. I was 16 when I first met her. Despite being blood related, we only met at that time as she already stayed in Manila for college, until she got married, and raised her own family. I only got here to also study for college, and well, until now. Meeting her occasionally had always been a joy. Aside from free food and treats, her presence, for a probinsyana like me in the metro, is just but comforting. When I was still a student, she would even at times insist in giving me 500 peso bills, for pamasahe! To me, that was a lot. Fast forward to when I was already about to take the Bar, up to when I still can't afford rent as a newbie lawyer, I stayed in their home in Taguig, free lodging, at times free hatid-sundo. Whatever she gave to her kids, she also gave to me. Never felt like a stranger. Her family also became my family. To cut things short, this is an attempt to help out a woman so generous, and a family that keeps on giving despite the odds.
Would have preferred posting here her medical abstract, with the permission of her immediate family, but let me sum up her condition the way I understand it: Last December 2020 before Christmas, she was admitted to hospital due to difficulty of breathing, associated with chest pain. Her swab tests resulted negative from Covid-19. She was thankful, only to be admitted again because of continued struggle. She was scheduled for radio, and she underwent procedure on left pigtail. During the operation, her doctors were able to drain 1L of fluid, and then she was discharged. At home she was taken care of by her daughter Dayne, and nurse sister ate Nancy. She still experienced severe pain but she stayed home prior to some confirmatory tests, and because of the holidays. I remember that during this time, she was already initially diagnosed to have cancer. But even before her PET CT scan, she was admitted again to the hospital on the third day of January. To the ICU. Subsequently, it was confirmed she had it. Lung Cancer. Stage 4. Since then, her family already stayed and monitored her at the hospital. She also began suffering heart failure, and other complications. She was intubated and sedated for eight (8) days. Every day she survives, is now considered a miracle. To this day, she had been hospitalised for more than a month so far. She was already sent to a regular room, but she had to be transferred back to the ICU for a procedure to remedy the build up of pleural fluids that caused her difficulty of breathing.
Per Dayne, the first week of January when Ate Baby was in the ICU, they already spent more than One Million Pesos (Php1M). Their running expense right now is estimated at Two Million Pesos (Php2M). With ate's continued medication - costing them, Php2,000 at the minimum for cancer oral meds per day, and her continuous need to be still in a hospital (they are now in the process of transferring her from Medical City to a more affordable hospital), surely, any amount could help them in their expenses, and help ate Baby live longer.
Below are other deposit options where you can donate:
Account Name: Allen Danielle G. Gonzales
Account No. 09478736807
BDO Savings Account
Account Name: Allen C. Gonzales
Account No: (Available upon request)