1st KKK Day Camp for Children with Cancer

Can a person laugh amid a life-threatening illness?
Yes, in an environment where the sick and their caregivers are given enough support.
Thus, the Mga Kaibigan ng Kabataang May Kanser (KKK) and some good Samaritans pooled their resources to give children with cancer and their parents the first KKK Day Camp last Jan. 5 and 6, 2013.
The beneficiaries, who came from Iloilo City, Pavia, Barotac Viejo, Guimaras and Capiz, among others started their bonding time at Maya’s Playground located in Ticud, La Paz.
Dr. Ruby Palacios-Grino led them in a storytelling session, followed by watercolour painting and drawing through the guidance of daycare center’s  directress Jorvelyn Espinosa, Leslie Freires-Garrido, Victoria Alcontin and Johnalyn Antiquena.
In another room, the parents shared their stories and struggles. Drs. Eunice Sermonia and Aimee Chua served as facilitators.
After that, the beneficiaries received Noche Buena gift packs, toys and coloring materials.
The next day, the group went to Jollibee at E. Lopez Jaro for breakfast, KFC for lunch and to Storyland and Timezone in SM City Iloilo for lots of fun.
“Some of the children barely slept the night before, too excited by the thought of spending a day in the mall. Most of them (even their parents) have never been to the mall, and this was certainly an adventure for them. Thea, especially, said once before that it was her dream to go to the mall. So, when we announced that we were going on the 3D Max ride and Storyland rides and play some games at the Timezone.....you can imagine the happy pandemonium,” Dr. Socorro Martinez, KKK president said.
The group capped the day by attending mass at St. Clement’s Church.
One of the beneficiaries, Thea Fantinalgo, in a letter addressed to Dr. Martinez, said, “Sobrang saya sa KKK fun trip. Ang nagustuhan ko kahapon ay ang pag storytelling at pag drawing. Higit sa lahat ay palagi kaming kumakain sa Jolibee. Maraming salamat sa KKK. Sana maulit pa sa susunod na taon. Ang babait po ninyo Doc. At so sobrang saya yeeee!”
Thea’s mom on the other hand, has realized that it is important for her to spend more precious time with her daughter who is need of her attention and care.
Randolph Jarandilla, father of RJ who has Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), said that his son always talks about Jollibee because he sees it on television often. “At last, napuntahan nya na at kumain pa kami. Enjoy na enjoy sia, nakikita ko sa reaksyon nya. Napakasaya ko rin, dahil kahit sa ganitong sitwasyon naming ay may mga taong tumutulong sa amin upang siya’y mapasaya. Pang-pito si RJ sa mga anak ko kaya ... can’t afford. Hindi ko kayang mabigyan siya nga kasiyahan na kagaya nito,” he said.
In those two days, the children, their parents, KKK members and supporters witnessed that through caring, people can be happy amid an illness.
It reminds us that indeed, there are many reasons why we could confidently say: Today, I will laugh again.
* * *
KKK would like to thank the following for their precious support: Maya’s Playground, Carol Deduro, ZTS and Paul Zaldarriaga, Janice Jimenez and family for Gyzer water, Cloie’s Pension House, Itaas family, Mannequin Studio staff, Ruby Javellana, Melanie Go, Fatima Ayabe, Lester Harding, Drs. Ruby Palacios-Grino, Eunice Sermonia, Aimee Chua, Dina Belicena, Aileen Granada, Dawn Isidro and Melanie Tendencia; Melanie and Arman Tufino, Sophia Ichon and Nancy Climacos.* (Kathy Villalon, January 10, 2013 The News Today)

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