I pray and hope that you are all in a good place right now especially in this time of pandemic. I started this campaign for my father, Rogelio M. Fortaleza. He just turned 60 on December 2019. He has been recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer Stage 2B on May 17, 2020.
According to the doctors, the only way to cure Pancreatic Cancer is through the removal of the tumor. However, initial evaluations done at St. Luke's Medical Center was that his tumor is currently inoperable because of its size and position. It is surrounding the portal vein, a major blood vessel in the abdominal cavity. Since this is the case, the recommended treatment strategy is for him to go through chemotherapy first to reduce the size of the tumor until it becomes operable. Fortunately, the tumor has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs yet.
Before he began with the chemotherapy, the doctors had to proceed with an urgent procedure to alleviate his liver problems as the pancreatic tumor caused a near-complete blockage of his bile duct. The doctor attempted an Endoscopic Retrogade Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with stent insertion to open up the bile duct and allow the blocked bile to flow normally. They were unable to deploy the stent as the opening of the bile duct in the small intestine was already blocked and inaccessible. The doctors had to perform another procedure to drain the bile building up in his liver. The procedure is called Percutaneous Transhepatic Biliary Drainage (PTBD). The PTBD tube and bag that are deployed to drain his bile is needed until the tumor is removed. All these procedures including the first cycle of his chemotherapy and other hospital charges amounted to Php710,000 (US $14,675).
After the PTBD was installed, he went through four cycles of chemotherapy (Folfirinox). The first cycle was done at St. Luke's QC while the other three cycles were done at Providence Hospital. We tried to transfer his care at a public/government hospital but due to the pandemic, government hospitals were already in full capacity.
Every session of his chemo treatment was worth almost Php130,000 (US $2,687) including the medicine and the admission expenses since one of the medicines takes 48 hours to be administered. After the fourth session, a CT scan was done to check on the size of the tumor. Unfortunately, the tumor did not respond the way we hoped. Hence, the oncologist suggested to shift to another treatment, Gemcitabine. This medicine will cost us P20,500 (US $423) weekly for the next ten weeks. After the tenth session, another CT scan will be done.
When the tumor becomes operable, my father will undergo surgery for the removal of the tumor. After several discussions with the doctors regarding the cost of the procedure and post-surgery care, the cost may reach more than 2 Million including the ICU, antibiotics, medicines, tests, professional fees, and etc. This is a hefty amount.
In between his treatments, he was also hospitalized due to the following:
1) COVID infection, June 2020 - 11 days admission at the St. Luke's QC's COVID ward - Php258,000 (US $5,332)
2) Liver infection and re-installation of PTBD, July 2020 - 12 days admission at Providence Hospital - Php303,000 (US $6,262)
3) Acute renal failure, August 2020 - 6 days admission (3 days in the ICU) at Providence Hospital - Php262,000 (US $5,415)
My father has been a great fighter, literally and figuratively. He used to be a national athlete, an amateur boxer, during his prime. He is one of the four well-known Fortaleza Brothers in the 70's. He represented the country in various prestigious international tournaments like the SEA Games in 1977 where he won a Silver medal and the 5th ASEAN Amateur Boxing Championships in 1979, where he won another Silver medal for the country. When he retired in boxing, he became an international referee-judge. Actually, he is the first Filipino AIBA 3-star Referee-Judge, the highest ranking a referee-judge can achieve.
Now that he remains weak and vulnerable, he cannot fight this battle alone. He needs us. This is a difficult time for our family, especially to my dad. With the large sum of money that our family and relatives have already shed out, we are humbly asking your good hearts. Help us win this battle with him.
If you do not have a PayPal account, here are your other options:
BPI Savings Account
Monumento Circle Branch
Raygel Germar Fortaleza
4089 0698 02
BDO Savings Account
Marilao - MacArthur Highway Branch
Rose Marie Fortaleza
0058 0016 6138
Rose Marie Fortaleza
0995 077 1246
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!