Hello everyone. My name is Heather. I'm not "blood-related" to Manang Ester, but she's family to us.
(FYI: "Manang" is a respective Filipino term derived from the Spanish word "hermana", meaning "sister". In this context, it means "older sister".)
I met Manang Ester almost 3 years ago. She's a sweet, gentle woman who has been with my partner's family since he was a little boy - roughly 20 years ago. When their family's away a few months every year, Manang Ester looks after their house and the garden, her favorite. Her day isn't complete without sitting outside at least an hour every morning, pulling out wild garden weeds. What gives her happiness is simple - being able to look after the garden and the house while her "family" is away.
Just these past 5 months, Manang Ester's health seem to have deteriorated quite drastically. Her hearing is partially impaired, and now her loss of vision has rendered her weak, and this has been a great challenge for her. She can barely move around the house without the need to extend her arms to make sure she's not bumping into something. She has Diabetes too, but thankfully her blood sugar level is somehow managed well.
Three days ago, she asked her daughter Daisy to bring her to the city for a consultation because she's been really bothered by her vision. She had her eyes checked and this is what the doctor told Daisy: both her eyes have thick cataracts, the right eye is totally blind - but they can still operate to remove it and to restore her vision - for P50,000. The left eye could be saved by the same procedure as well, another operation.
Approaching for help, the first thing she mentioned is her fear of not being able to see at all for she will not be able to work anymore. She doesn't have to, but she considers it her duty and purpose. Today, 7th of November, Manang Ester went back to the city to see her doctor as they're monitoring her blood sugar level for the operation. Her fasting blood sugar is 395 mg/dL – very high. The operation can only be conducted when her blood sugar is normal, so this buys us more time to raise the needed money for the operation, but every day counts as the world gets darker and darker for Manang Ester. Her doctor said the operation should be done not later than the end of January. If we reach the amount needed from online and offline donations, fingers crossed, we will reschedule her operation to December. Despite of her family's contribution we still need more funds to reach the total cost. We want to help them gather as much funds as possible so she can have the operation ASAP. We will be really grateful if you can also help us reach our target amount. We already appreciate you taking the time to read Manang Ester’s story. Thanks so much!