There’s a saying that goes…

“Prevention is better than cure.”

To many, it already sounds cliché. Sadly, people usually take their health for granted.

We Filipinos often use these phrases as a warning instead:

“Bawal ang magkasakit. OR, Magastos magkasakit.”

(Being sick is prohibited. OR, Being sick is too expensive.)

When I was younger, I haven’t really experienced that “too expensive” phrase yet.

My dad is a retiree of PLDT (a company with great health benefits), he used his HMO to cover any hospital bills and medicines he needed when he was still an employee. With his previous salary, he took good care of us. Now, we are the ones taking care of him and mom – from basic needs, maintenance medicines to healthcare. We happily do this as a sign of our gratitude.

Recently, I became aware of how the “too expensive” phrase is actually “true”.

Last January, one of my my closest friends and God brother, Mico, was diagnosed with kidney failure.

For those who haven’t read his story yet, you may click the link HERE.

Unfortunately, kidney failure runs in his family. His mom also has stage 5 chronic kidney disease, too.

Starting at age 21, Mico already has maintenance medicines for high blood.

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Now at age 29, aside from this and from providing for his family, he also needs to take care of other expenses.

When Mico was diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease, his other bills suddenly shoot up. From the dialysis expenses, pre-kidney transplant work up, kidney transplant operations to his monthly maintenance medicines.

During this time, I became fully conscious of how a disease can suddenly change your everyday life. How a sickness can tremendously change your lifestyle.

Mico and his family, with the help of their relatives and close friends gathered all their resources. We raised funds so that Mico can have a successful kidney transplant. Aside from their savings, they tried to reach out to anyone who can help – be it politicians, friends and government agencies. They also started to raise a T-shirt fundraising campaign. A lot of people contributed. Some of these kind-hearted people, they don’t personally know.

Are you wondering how expensive a Kidney disease can be? Those are exactly what I thought about, too.

First, the dialysis (after the check up and lab tests). Aside from it being exhausting and time-consuming, it is also very costly. He underwent hemodialysis three times a week.

How much?

2500/treatment dialysis
1500/injection per dialysis
4000 PHP total

 At least, Philhealth can cover at least 90 sessions (only if you are an eligible member).

Second, the pre-kidney transplant work up. A kidney patient can only do this once he found a donor. The kidneys need to match. There are actually two types of donors, a living one and/or the one who already passed away. Mico is very blessed because his living donor (Jaea, his wife) has 102% kidney functionality and she is more than willing to sacrifice one of her kidneys to the love of her life.

How much?

Approximately 150,000 PHP

This amount covers cross matching, tissue type matching, pra screening, andiogram, gfr filtration rate, etc..

If the transplant work up failed, the money goes down the drain…

 

Third, the operation itself.

It ranges from approximately 1.2 to 1.7 Million Pesos.

You can even buy a house or a car with that amount.

Here are some of the receipts (nakakalula ang presyo):

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FInally, the maintenance medicines. It seems that only a few people know the struggle of a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT SURVIVOR.

A lot of people perhaps think that one successful operation is the end of the misery. I am guilty of that, too. Later did I found out that the expenses will be greater than before. Maintaining and keeping a new kidney healthy and alive is very costly.

A monthly set of medicines will approximately cost 50,000 – 80,000PHP.

Don’t believe me? I can’t even comprehend it myself. Until I saw this:

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This is what my Godbrother needs to take care of. He needs these medicines to be alive. To live for his family and his two lovely kids. He can not miss any medicines, or else… the transplant will just be put to waste – the kidney will fail – again.

Why struggle? Why is he still so optimistic and determined to fight?

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He still dreams of seeing his kids graduate from school, get married and have a family of their own. He hopes to be with his loving wife and family for a longer time.

The least thing that I can do is to help him achieve this dreams, to spread awareness, to help raise funds.

For the generous people who would still love to help, you may send your monetary donations via these account numbers or you may also purchase newly designed T-shirts for our fundraising campaign. These are the details:

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You may click this link to purchase:

ORDER FORM

We will be forever grateful and indebted in gratitude once our request be heard. We have already sought help from various government institutions, but unfortunately, the amount of money that we need is just too much for us to handle.

May you be an instrument of God to save a life, a loved one and a family. May you also be inspired by this story.. filled with hope, life and love…

Always remember, health is wealth… never take it for granted.

Thank you so much and God bless.

Published by Rea Lakwatsera