I already did this before. Now I’m compelled to do it again… 😳
Dear friends. Jennifer “Yeyette” Perey de Alas, my dear wife of 21 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2. Initially, it was thought that her cancer was only on its first stage. But after undergoing a very painful biopsy, it was found out that it is already on its second stage.
In order for the cancer cells to stop spreading, she needs to undergo mastectomy on her right breast on or before mid-April. The whole procedure will cost us more than ₱300,000 (including post check-ups, medications, and possible chemotherapy sessions which we hope will no longer be necessary).
Getting a second opinion is not an option at the moment as the biopsy alone already cost us close to ₱30,000.
As a disclosure (and clarification to doubting Thomases): close friends and some family members are aware of my salary and how astounded they are with it. However, please note that I am the only one employed. Yeyette has since stopped working after giving birth to Junífera Clarita in 2014; she also almost lost her life during the whole process. And with five kids to feed and to send to school, that salary of mine, to be honest, is barely enough. My economic status, therefore, is no different to most Filipino workers today. 😔
So here I am now, shamefacedly pulling at your heartstrings, to do one of the things that I truly hate the most: publicly asking for financial assistance. But I’m doing this to save my wife’s life.
All I’m asking is just a minimum donation of ₱200. I believe that it would be more of a drag for many people if I ask for more. I currently have 788 Facebook friends. I was thinking that if each of them would donate the same amount, I would garner ₱157,600. Still not enough (and I’m sure not all of my Facebook friends will heed my call). So I asked my kids who have Facebook accounts to do the same scheme. Yeyette has already asked her relatives in Mindoro to do the same (Facebook already deleted her account for reasons unclear to us).
Should you wish to help us, you may send your donation to my bank account:
Bank of the Philippine Islands account number: 9829-0918-41
Account name: José Mario S. Alas
BPI branch: Ortigas Emerald (Unit 101 G/F Jollibee Plaza Condominium, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Brgy. San Antonio, Ortigas Center, Pásig City 1605)
Swift code: BOPIPHMM
You may also dial/text 09613501787 if you want to know more details about Yeyette’s dilemma.
I understand that many people are very cautious when it comes to letting go of money these days as they are already fed up with corruption and various scams. Trust me: I am as cynical as you are when it comes to random individuals asking for monetary assistance online. But God knows this is not a scam. And I am vouching for whatever reputation I may have as an online Filipino historian. Tarnishing that reputation, no matter how small, is not even one of the last things I’d want to do even at gunpoint. Having said that, if you wish to see any accounting of the funds that we might be able to collect, feel free to ask me. I’d be glad and very willing to share it to you.
Also, after sending your donation, please show me the receipt via Messenger or my email address (email@example.com) so that I would know from whom the money had come from.
To collate more than ₱300,000 in a month’s time is not a walk in the park for people like us. And we are working against time. Please don’t let my writings, social media engagements, or my knowledge of Filipino History and the Spanish language fool you: I really am as poor as a rat, always filled with secret glee whenever there’s free pizza around at the office. And the seven of us live in a cramped apartment that looks more like a topsy-turvy children’s toys warehouse than a normal-looking home. Truly, life had become extremely difficult ever since Yeyette was forced to stop working six years ago.
With all the personal misfortunes that had bedeviled me through the years, from being a battered child to a trying hard, mediocre writer chained by the system to a dejected, inutile son whose estranged parents are currently embroiled in a court case against each other, it comes as no surprise why I feel that I am always on the brink of heeding what the French call as “l’appel du vide“. This in spite of my daily Rosaries (been reading too much assorted philosophies, I guess). But hey, enough about me. This is not supposed to be about me. The only reason I’m sharing this now is to inform people what a positive-thinking person my wife is. Because I am her complete opposite. That is my character, and I’m just being brutally honest. I think that is why our children adore her more. She cries a lot, especially when pushed to the limit, but she always remains hopeful. She trusts in the kindness of people. And she is made of sterner stuff, not the type of person who easily surrenders. That is why she is the strongest person I have ever met. My family cannot afford to lose her. She is the pillar, the heart of our home. Not me.
If she’s gone, that is the end of my family as we all know it.
That could even be the end of me.