This is not an ordinary call for financial help, but a call to prove that love is stronger than any challenges, or any cancer cells.
Such is the story of Greg and Pinky Velasco.
Their Love Story
They met at a prestigious school in Cebu, where Greg worked as a laboratory assistant. He admitted that when he saw Pinky and her then-short hair, he fell in love at first sight. It was hard to pursue her so just to get her attention, one time, he had to intentionally pull out the cord out of her computer monitor so she could ask him to help her. True enough, it worked and that was the start of their love story.
Eventually, they got married via civil wedding and their love produced two beautiful kids—Harriet (12) and Humphrey (10).
The Disease and the Surgery
Pinky usually had complaints during her menstruation because of her very painful menstrual cramps. One time, it was so painful that she was crying in pain and was hospitalized. They were surprised when she was diagnosed with Bilateral Adenocarcinoma of the Ovary, Stage IV or Ovarian Cancer (Stage 4). She had a 2cm cyst and they tried to medicate it orally but unfortunately, it didn’t work and the cyst grew to 10cm. The doctor suggested immediate surgery and initial plans was to operate only on one side but they had to open her on both sides to take out cysts from both her ovaries.
Faith Amidst Challenges
One of their lifelong wishes was to be wed with God as a witness (through church) however, both of them were not baptized nor confirmed and these were the requirements for being wed in the Philippines. Greg then approached Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili , parish priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Roque, because he didn’t want to let time pass by without having their lifelong wish to come true. He presented to the priest, their challenges. And as this is an extraordinary case, 6 out of the 7 Holy sacraments were given to Pinky—Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Confession, Anointing of the Sick and finally—Marriage.
The Catholic Wedding
True enough, their wish to become married in union with God, came true with the help of their parish priests. Pinky wore a simple gown and everybody was having mixed emotions as she went down the stairs of their home and walked slowly towards Greg who was waiting in their living room. There was no formal processional, no ring bearers, no fancy flowers, or choir, but it was solemn, sweet and their love can be felt by everyone who was present. And you know, that’s what’s really important beyond all the nitty-gritties of what we think weddings should be—to be able to blessed and unified with God with the person that we truly love. This was testified by Greg and Pinky on that wonderful day.
For those people who are married, sometimes, when we say our vows, “For richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, etc.”, these are merely lip services. It is only when we are able to live it that we get to appreciate the enormity of the responsibility these vows have. When we experience this, will love between two be enough? And that’s where the solemnity of being married at Church in front of God begins. Because we couldn’t do it alone—we will always need God’s guidance as we go through life’s challenges.
Up to this day, medical bills are piling up for Pinky’s treatment. Stage 4 Ovarian cancer is no trip to the park. Most of the family’s savings have dwindled down with previous hospitalizations. They also have 2 kids who are in school.
I believe that God uses instruments and we hope that this becomes an instrument to you who’s reading this to help Pinky and her family as she battles the big fight against the Big C. We are truly grateful for whatever amount you can give.
“No one has ever become poor by giving”. May God bless you always.