RORY’S STORY: HELP COMPLETE ANOTHER CHAPTER BY DEFEATING CANCER
This is Rory when she was a baby. She was born on May 1, 1997, the youngest of three but definitely the cutest among us siblings.
And this is Rory and I, probably more than fifteen years ago, before digitally edited light streaks became mainstream.
I don't particularly remember this moment but this is one of the very few remaining photos we have. All other pictures were destroyed because of Typhoon Sendong last 2011.
Rory sang and danced whenever she was asked to do so when she was younger. She tried to learn so many things as a kid- she took singing classes and swimming lessons; and taught herself to play musical instruments (soprano recorder, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and ukulele) and other languages.
She has listed the moments she cherished in her gospel book when she was in second year high school. Some of them were when she went to the stage to wear her medals and riding the zipline. She also wrote, "There are many more that I haven't mentioned but to sum it all up, I would say that I cherish every moment of my life, for a lot of reasons that are many to mention."
Two years ago, Rory was a BS Computer Science student of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Even on her first few months in the University, she has been an active student in her classes and chosen student organizations. She once cross-dressed for her communications class.
On her third semester in UP, her body started to deteriorate. She suffered from frequent asthma attacks to which the infirmary doctor diagnosed her with allergic asthma. There were weeks that she would be sent to the infirmary almost every other day. She had persistent fever and fatigue. Her weakening body took a toll on her mental health. It was around November 2015- in the middle of the semester- when it was decided that she needs to rest.
A large lump on the left side of her neck was then observed a month later. An X-ray, CT scan, and two biopsies later, Rory was diagnosed to have Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of a part of the immune system called the lymph system.
Only her closest friends and our family knew about her illness. She wanted it to be kept a secret from everyone because she did not want the attention.
Her first set of chemotherapy began around January 2016 and ended on September 2016. She endured a total of 6 cycles, 12 sessions. She never liked needles as a little girl- but she overcame it call. Her CT scan after the chemo, however, indicated there was some mass left. A month long Radiation therapy began thereafter. At this point, she hated the smell of rubbing alcohols and hospital linens' fabric conditioner because it reminded her of the pain and discomfort she suffered during those therapy sessions.
It was less than three months when we discovered that her cancer relapsed. This time, she was recommended to undergo a stronger treatment. Her doctor in St. Luke's suggested second line of treatment be used because the side effects were not as drastic as the previous medicines used during her first chemo. After this, she would have to undergo Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCT). Autologous means that the stem cells drawn from the bone marrow will be obtained from the patient's body.
Rory succeeded in her first stem cell harvesting from the bone marrow and produced beyond the target number of needed stem cells. I did not hear a single complaint nor flinch from her, even when a 12-inch syringe was inserted around her thigh bone.
Her stem cell transplant was initially scheduled on May 2018 but was postponed due to financial concerns. Our family only wants the best for her. We have already exhausted our resources so we can pay for the medical treatments. We have also availed the service/medical assistance provided by the government. We haven't raised enough yet. We were told to prepare up to 2,000,000 pesos. We are desperate for your help so we can afford to pay for her stem cell transplant. She is only 21 years old, still full of dreams. We are hoping to push through with her transplant on July 2018.
Please help us end this painful chapter of her life and move on to a better and meaningful one.
Account name: Romela N. Ratilla
Account # 002840366319
Account name: Hillary Marie N. Ratilla
Account # 261-089051-4
Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have more questions through my mobile number: 09976022128 and/or email: [email protected]