Victoria is a 48 year old woman who has had a tremendous battle with cancer. Here is her story from her blog:
“Sometime May 2013, I just told a few friends that I was diagnosed Stage 4 mucinous carcinoma, and that it was not looking good. The tumor on my chest was gigantic and inoperable. I also had 3 open wounds where every day matter from my body would leave me. I changed bandages several times a day. The tumor on the lung was huge too but operable, that is, cut-out-half-of-the-left-lung operable. Plus cut out part of the diaphragm too. This was the third time in 9 years I’d experienced a recurrence, the third time I’d seen a brand new tumor growing in the exact same spot where a breast-conserving mastectomy was performed on me in 2007. This time it was the biggest it had ever been. I felt like the hunchfront of Laguna.
Understand that at that point it was already my 9th year battling the disease and my resources as a single woman had become extremely challenged. And though Stanford was able to admit me into a program where all cancer treatments were covered, living expenses in the Bay area would be an issue. Amazingly these friends of mine from childhood were already getting together, brainstorming what to do, thinking of the best way to help me.
Chary became the de facto leader of the project. “Battle for the Bags” was also her idea. It would be an auction of curated brand new or slightly used high quality luxury bags. A very brilliant idea if I may so myself, and never before done to my knowledge.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your generosity has literally saved my life! You are brilliant and brave to offer precious resources to someone you may not even know!
For years I struggled mostly on my own to get to health, this was the first time I ever experienced such an outburst of support. How on earth could this be all for me? I was overwhelmed with the fairy tale like blessing of it all. It was like an unfolding undeserved dream.
I can’t thank the core group enough. They were the driving force that made everything happen. Aside from Chary, Gem and Chinie, the core group consisted of my own dear sisters Donna and Gina Ferro, my brother JJ Ferro, my cousin Gigi Eala, Lourdes Guerrero and Gene Tamesis. Willy de Ocampo was treasurer in Manila; Tech Valmonte was treasurer on the US side. Together they gathered resources and solicited sponsors for the “Battle.”
Thanks to you, I was able to live in a place where I could get continuous care and treatments from one of the world’s finest institutions of medicine. Within one year, the once inoperable tumor shrunk by at least 12 centimeters. All my wounds closed and healed. For the first time after more than a year I don’t have to bandage my chest, I can actually swim again. Thanks to you the tumors on my body are now operable and I have a chance of being cured. It’s all because of you. You who are reading this, who donated bags, cash, time, passion, ideas, energy, creativity, resources, prayers, food, love. You are the reason that today my hope grows large and my future brighter. The message your collective effort sent to my soul was this: that my life matters and is worth fighting for. I am so deeply grateful.
You may not know me but I know your names and remember your gifts. Your names are very precious. They are etched in my heart. May you and your family be blessed with thousand fold rewards that are impossible to contain. By blessing me, a floodgate of blessing was opened to you. I thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart. You are all my heroes!
365 days have passed and a new year, the 10th year of my battle begins and it may even be more challenging than the last. I may need three major surgeries and continuing hormonal treatment, possibly participation in a clinical trial. I look forward to the year ahead with great expectation, emboldened and encouraged by my experience of how God provided and strengthened me, with you dear friends as His ambassadors of compassion. Here’s to Life for all of us!”
What a beautiful woman and what a beautiful spirit! The Love from Margot Foundation is beyond grateful to have been a part of her story and able to provide her with some financial help in the duration of her 10th year with cancer.