Peddling for Dignity


Written By: Mikee Pasaporte

I believe everybody has experienced getting sick once or twice in their lifetime. The common cold accompanied by the feeling of being feverish or perhaps getting the stomach flu after eating your favorite meal.  You tend to have people do everything for you. From preparing your “sick-person” meal (the repeated rice gruel-crackers-and-carbonated soda combo which was usually the reason why you didn’t like eating in the first place) to making you feel comfortable by allowing you to sleep the entire day and have the license to skip chores. That cup of water just a hand length away, is placed in your hands because those taking care of you think that you should conserve as much energy as possible. For the first few days, you’d feel pampered, but after a week, the feeling of worthlessness kicks in. What more when a person gets diagnosed with a life-limiting illness; dignity then is somehow lost.

Repacked peanut butter and new ready-to-wear clothes are placed in a big plastic bag, which is carried along the roads of Muntinlupa by a strong-willed and still strong-bodied 62-year old patient of ours who is diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer which has spread to her lungs. She is assisted by her live-in partner, who doesn’t only help her with selling, but also helps her with caring for her chest wounds. The weight on her shoulders is the same weight that provides for her daily wound cleaning.

She used to have a business which eventually went bankrupt when she got sick. Still searching for hope, she uses herbal alternative medications. Her pain, though present, is controlled by pain medications we provide for her.

In spite of her current condition, she still makes an effort to provide for her ever-growing needs.

We, at The Ruth Foundation, have assisted her in pain management and continually render medical consultation and nursing care.

She shares with us, “Hindi naman ito kagustuhan ng Dios ang nangyari sa akin kaya tanggap ko… Sabi nga nila, nasa Dios ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”