Her name is Jai Marie I. Garcia. She is 37 years young and the eldest of six siblings. She lost her dad not more than two years ago, on the 31st of December 2014. After her father died, she took it upon herself to take care of our family. Yet, by a cruel twist of fate, she was (erroneously) diagnosed nine months later (in September 2015) of having Stage III Ovarian Cancer. Despite the unfortunate turn of events, Jai remained hopeful. She remained, more than anything else, a source of strength for her family. Her courage to face her illness was steadfast and her resolve, unyielding.
At that time, her doctor then (an Obgyn Surgeon/Oncologist) prescribed six cycles of chemotherapy to address her (supposed) Stage III Ovarian Cancer. Months passed and Jai kept fighting. However, despite going through five cycles of chemotherapy, Jai’s health remained unimproved. During this time Jai made consistent complaints of pain in her abdominal area, difficulty in breathing and back pains. Her doctor attributed her pains to mere muscle pain. He even had the gall to say that Jai was too sensitive. The idea of bringing Jai to an internal medicine oncologist was raised to her doctor but he merely said that it wasn’t needed yet.
In February 2016, after experiencing persistent pain in her abdominal area, vomiting, and the rejection of her body to any food or liquid, Jai was rushed to a different hospital, a different doctor. After being shown Jai’s medical history and test results (which all came from her first doctor), and after conducting the necessary tests, the new doctor found that Jai is and had actually been suffering from Colorectal Cancer. Worse, it was already Stage IV. Her cancer had already spread all over her body, including her colon, liver, diaphragm, and aortic lymph nodes. In addition, only one of her kidneys is now properly functioning as one of them is dilated. Her chest cavity and abdomen are filled with fluids (what the doctors call ascites), which impedes her breathing. Her colon had already solidified and lumped together to the point where nothing, not even a small amount fluid, can pass through.
The previous chemotherapy was specifically intended to address Ovarian Cancer, hence it did not cure Jai of her illness. She was advised by her new doctor that she needs to undergo a different kind of chemotherapy to properly address her illness. Her new doctor advised that Jai’s chemotherapy is no longer intended to cure her, as her illness is already so extensive that the chemotherapy can only palliate or slow down the progression of the cancer. Jai’s chemotherapy will be every two weeks, and will take about forty-eight hours to complete per session. She will have to undergo this treatment for the remainder of her life.
Imagine the shock, frustration, anger, pain and desperation that Jai felt at that moment. All that time, money and effort wasted on something that had done nothing but allow her cancer to worsen. Notwithstanding what had happened, the first thing that Jai asked her family after learning of the news is that if they were ok. True to her character, she placed her family first. She said that she will keep on fighting for the sake of her family.
Our family had spent millions of hard-earned money paid to the hospital and the doctors with the expectation and belief that the treatment Jai was undertaking would cure her. Now we are faced with an even heavier financial burden to merely palliate (not cure) her cancer. We were advised that the chemotherapy medicines alone will cost Php150,000.00 (approx. USD3,200) per chemotherapy session.
We have exhausted our family's life savings for Jai’s chemotherapy, operations, and medical expenses. We have also received some donations from family and friends to help pay the medical bills but sadly, we don’t have anything left.
Dealing with cancer is difficult enough in itself, having learned that the diagnosis was wrong, that the previous chemotherapy sessions were useless, and that Jai’s cancer is now incurable, made this entire situation almost impossible to bear. The only way that Jai will be able to spend more time with her family is to try and prolong her life as much as possible through such an expensive chemotherapy.
We are pleading for your prayers and support through this fundraising campaign to help save Jai.