Philippine Breast Cancer Network
Lanie Francisco, 34 ( Singapore ): Your advocacy is really noble. Your wisdom unparalleled by any doctor (surgeon, oncologist, radiologist we have met). Although they may be intelligent and well-meaning, they have lost the wisdom of using their heart and spirit to guide breast cancer patients like my mother. The first two days seemed to be very slow but Zarah (my 4-yr old daughter), Nanay, Tita Lita and myself really enjoyed every minute of it. The next three days then seemingly became too fast because of the thought of leaving you and Tiaong Breast Haven. This experience also helped all of us to see beyond the hopelessness and despair it brought to my family. It gave me a respite from the responsibility of being the only “rock” in my family. Somehow as a caregiver, it lightened my load – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Hindi yung parang ako na lagi ang nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob….dahil madalas pinanghihinaan din ako ng loob, pero di ko magawa…dahil ako lang ang inaasahan. You have validated not only my fear of what chemo and radiation therapies would do to my mother – but you have also confirmed all of my prior research that there SHOULD BE A BETTER AND MORE DIGNIFIED WAY OF LIVING THROUGH CANCER. You did not raise false hope that we will be cured – but you kindled another kind of hope – hope that my mother can age more gracefully and live with a better quality of life….maybe even better than before she had cancer. As Zarah says every morning when she wakes up, sitting in the veranda facing the mountain,
“Thank You Jesus for the sun,
“ “ “ “ “ trees,
“ “ “ “ “ birds,
“ “ “ “ “ buko nuts,
“ “ “ “ Tito Danny,
“ “ “ “ Ate Cristy,
“ “ “ “ Nanay, Tita Lola and Mommy.
And from me & Nanay, Thank You Jesus for the PBCN.
Charito Bautista, 46 (Lipa, Batangas): “No words can describe how I feel today. Tatay Danny and Cristy have taught me how to fight my breast cancer. There are times that I want to give up but when I stay here, I know I’m going to be fine. It was not only my health that improved but also my faith in God – that He never left me. Thank you very much for all the things you’ve shared with me and for all the efforts you’ve given to me. I’ll surely miss Tatay Danny and Cristy. With you guys, ang sarap mabuhay!”
Rosalie Gerarcas, 34 (Imus, Cavite ) : “Staying with the BCN for a week really helped a lot with my health condition. Danny and Cristy are like walking breast cancer encyclopedias. I learned a lot not just about breast cancer but also about how to prevent having a deadly disease. They are very accommodating and never failed to answer every single question I asked. Our country is blessed having the PBCN and having Mr. Danny Meneses and Ms. Cristy as its key persons. Our women are blessed having them. I thank Danny and Cristy wth all my being. They are our womens’ Angels in Disguise!”
Atty Rose Casiguran, 57 ( Muntinlupa City ): “Firstly, I thank God for giving both of you as gifts/blessings to mankind, more particularly to Filipino women and their families. Your sacrifices will have their rewards. God knows how much you touch lives. Coming for a 6-day nature retreat is the best thing I’ve rewarded myself after I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. The solitude and the natural retreat are God’s ways of effectively telling me that He has given me the “solution” and response to this trial. I know all along that God brought me to you as indeed it has been easy for me to schedule this “retreat.” Thank you so much for the personal time, efforts and sharing of knowledge and experiences. I pray that I could reward you more by passionately joining your advocacy in addition to pursuing the simple life breast cancer patients should do after the “nature” retreat with you. This is not goodbye. This is the beginning of a relationship that God wants us to do for others. I pray for your continued health, peace and joy that this mission will be carried through for generations to come. Isn’t it wonderful to live simple lives amidst technology? God bless you and your loved ones!”
Atty Belen Pates, 55 (Iligan City, Lanao del Norte): “ I came here with a bias that you would force me to undergo something like a sect (cult), that you would be our masters and salvation, and that without you, we could not exist. I was so adamant against coming here and in fact, already arranged for the mastectomy of my right breast in Iligan City . My husband and daughter (both in Chicago) were alarmed and concerned because the technology in Iligan City is jurassic. They were persistent so I heeded to them. So I came to Manila to travel to Tiaong with my son who filed a leave from his work. I also insisted for him to detox with me. When we arrived at the municipal hall, there was the vehicle with Philippine Breast Cancer Network printed on both sides. I was thinking then of the scenario of “taken” and “kidnapped” as in movies and books. I was ready for the worst. But the methods done here is akin to the philosophy of non-invasive, no force foreign to pollute my mind. At least physically, I did detox and my mind imbibing on the rural scenery, the lush trees, chirping of the birds, mountains taunting you with breast-like shapes. This is the detox of the mind, the soothing coolness of the morning air and the slow caress of sunlight. My queries on breast cancer were addressed in the videos and discussions. I was surprised that my son and I had no adverse and violent reactions to the detox protocol. At first we were wakened but every morning, we really felt super rested. Thanks Dan & Cristy, am going home equipped with tools in handling this challenge. Love you.”
Mary Alexis Salinas , 56 ( Marikina City ): “Thank you for your concern, dedication and commitment to women journeying to healing and empowerment. My husband and children have been my “cheering squad” since the discovery of my lump – searching for therapies and treatment and my decision for a lumpectomy on May 2nd. We accepted and faced the positive diagnosis with faith and courage. God led me to the PBCN via internet, providing me with hope – a concrete support for my decision not to undergo radiation and removal of my lymph nodes as prescribed by the surgeon. I thank God for your mission and your efforts to free women from fear, guiding us towards peace and joy. I leave fully blessed by your presence, friendship and generosity in sharing information. My husband and children join me in saluting you and wish you more power not only in providing a therapy for treating breast cancer but in working to prevent breast cancer. That way, the PBCN may someday be known also as Philippine Breast Care Network.”
Bernie de Jesus, 61 ( Marikina City , M.M.) : “It was very educational for me and my husband, having stayed here even for the very short 5 days. I have never been exposed before about the intricacies of breast cancer – the causes, the prevention, the remedies. All I know is that there are so many people with breast cancer and chemotherapy is the only option they have. All I knew before about going to Tiaong was that it was a place where you’d get a detoxification regimen and that it will be generally good for the body. What I found was two people dedicating their lives to an advocacy much needed in the present world. Danny and Cristy have so much to share to our present careless world, irresponsible world, material world. Their advocacy is much needed considering the many innocent women suffering from breast cancer with no idea at all how they got it and how it can be prevented for the sake of their daughters, granddaughters, neighbors and friends. And more importantly, the PBCN offers an alternative in tackling breast cancer. We found hope that that there are healthy options to a good life, on how to look at life and ways to live life without feeling deprived of what this world has to offer. I trust Danny and Cristy and what the PBCN stands for. I hope I’d find some way to advance their advocacy, God willing. A toast to you, Rosa for having bravely started the PBCN.”
Wilma Bocaya, 50 ( Antipolo City ) : “I am very thankful that there is such a thing as the PBCN. I am very impressed with your advocacy. My stay was truly fruitful – I am feeling totally different. A lot better, definitely! I hope to be able to share this experience with others, especially the information that you have shared with us. They have changed my outlook on health – actually changed my life! I hope to be back, not as a breast cancer patient but to experience again this wonderful “break” (from corporate life). Maraming, maraming salamat po!”
Bing Bacolod , 45 (Las Pinas, M.M.): “What a wonderful journey! God is really good because He brought me to you guys!!! You are such a big help to cancer patients like me, who will really cling and grasp on anything just to win over this disease. Your knowledge, skills, affection and advocacy came into my life just when I needed it most. Don’t give up the advocacy! We need it to sustain our journey! Your new warrior.”
Angie Pasumbal, 46 (Lucena, Quezon), : “ This detox experience with the PBCN is quite unforgettable for me. Though I’m a vegetarian and love veg juices, 5 days without solid food is my first. I was afraid at first because I read in a book that cancer patients should not extend liquid fasting for more than a day. But I gave my full trust in Sir Danny and Miss Cristy and prayed to the Lord that He guide them to help me cope with hunger. I now feel truly empowered and my confidence in fighting against cancer is high. The discussions with Sir Danny, Ms. Cristy and my fellow cancer patients – Ms. Lyn opened my eyes to the real world of coping with my illness. Their knowledge is of great help as I will try to influence my family and friends to a healthier lifestyle. Really, cancer does not scare me anymore! The place and situation, being free from an unhealthy environment is a great opportunity to refresh the soul, God being the Greatest Physician. I salute your dedication and commitment to help patients and pray that I can be with you in your advocacy for a better and healthier Philippines in the near future. Thanks much and more power!”
Nitz Idica, 59 ( Novaliches , QC ) : “Perhaps you, yourselves cannot fathom the depth your help, care and concern has affected my husband and I. In a few days, you have turned our feeling of a death sentence and despair into an enlightened new life that there are options that are kinder to the body, mind and spirit. We are now lighter (in all sense of the word) and happier in the company of our family., especially our beloved children.”
Nimfa Kho, 49 (Cagayan de Oro): “I arrived here at Tiaong Breast Haven on a late afternoon of a Holy Wednesday and I instantly loved the place. Peace and quiet and fresh air – its’s the perfect hideaway for the tired, confused and weary breast cancer warrior. What a wonderful place to cleanse the mind, the body and the spirit. The mountain on the side of the room assigned to me served as a mighty symbol of strength and protection. It made me feel safe and hopeful. I enjoyed so much my short trek to that space on that mountain for my morning sunbathing. Communing with nature here in TBH is something I didn’t expect to experience. To Danny – Thank you for the insights, advices, and inspiration which I need so much. It’s been a confusing and sometimes fearful journey fighting the breast cancer war. Many times I feel tired putting up the brave front but I know I have to be brave. Kudos to you for this advocacy to help and empower women afflicted with this malady. You just don’t know how tremendously you are giving hope and understanding, thus giving us more reason to wage the battle, this time with much honor and dignity. To Cristy – You’ve been such a gentle and kind soul. A balm to my tired body and soul. I cannot thank you enough for being so kind, patient and caring. I hope you’ll still take care of me if ever I get the chance to come back here – that is if you will still allow me. I am thankful to God Almighty for leading me to this place. I will never forget TBH for it has offered me another view of the whole picture, something that will be a powerful aid in battling this disease. I praise God, too fr giving me the chance to know Danny and Cristy because they’ve been friendly, warm and helpful. All the more making TBH a home for Breast Cancer victims, even far from our homes. I really feel so at home here. The beautiful sight of nature that surrounds the place makes for a very invigorating, soul-enriching and heavenly sent gift to breast cancer warriors. Even the symphony of the sound of distant hooting of he owl, chirping of birds and crickets and other creatures are all music to our ears, soothing our body as well. Such a perfect place to undergo intensive internal cleansing because we can also relax and unwind and forget all our cares, even for just 6 days. Keep up the good work! To the late Rosa Meneses, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the inspiration!!!
Only by sharing can you hopefully realize and appreciate the work that I do. There are much more testimonies but let the above suffice. Only by having you read these can you now value whatever financial help has been extended to me and the PBCN. I have never used women with breast cancer to raise funds for the PBCN as I’d rather be the one – not them.
In memory of Rosa’s 10th Away!