Issue of July 8, 2018
     
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Good Samaritan seeks help from NBA star Lebron James
by Ofelia C. Empian

With the millions of Facebook posts mentioning National Basketball Association’s man of the hour LeBron James, one particular post stands out last week as it doesn’t play critic to the latter’s transfer to the Los Angeles Lakers but calls out to him to help him extend his life.

Baguio’s veteran journalist Ramon “Mondax” Dacawi, who is undergoing four times-a-week dialysis, wrote a letter to James asking to help him finance his kidney transplant. 

“This is a long shot, inspired by your philanthropy and the advice on your e-mail account: ‘Nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.’ I’m 67 years old, a retired government employee undergoing four times-a-week dialysis for a lifetime due to kidney failure triggered by diabetes,” Dacawi opened in his letter.

Dacawi then stated that as a civil servant, he has worked hard for what he earned.

“Still, my retirement pay after 45 years of government service has been used up to sustain my lifetime dialysis,” he said.

“I’m praying for a long shot, hoping your philanthropy would radiate and reach out to enable me to undergo kidney transplant and be able to restore my normal life,” he added in his letter to James, which was uploaded to the social media by broadcast journalist Dhobie de Guzman.

In his letter, dated July 3, Dacawi chronicled the efforts he was able to do while in office as the former Public Information Officer at City Hall.

Dacawi has initiated programs such as the “Eco Walk,” an environmental immersion program for children that enabled them to restore the city’s main water source, the Busol watershed.

Dacawi also wrote about the plight of dialysis, cancer, and other seriously ill patients within the locality, which became a bridge for Good Samaritans to help.

He also worked out with city officials to increase the government support through the PhilHealth to patients from 45 free sessions to 90 sessions a year.

He also initiated the signature campaign asking the Philippine government to make dialysis a free medical service as well as asking Congress to pass a bill to make a dialysis a free medical service for all Filipinos who cannot afford the costs of dialysis.

“This is the practice in the U.S. and other countries which rightfully consider dialysis as an emergency, a life-saving procedure,” he said.

Dacawi has asked the international basketball star, through his foundation, to set aside $150,000 for his kidney transplant as well as the post-transplant maintenance and anti-rejection medicines.

“Whatever remains would be for a trust fund to support dialysis patients unable to pay their life-saving blood cleansing sessions,” he said.

“If not, I pray your staff would arrange a transplant to be done in the United States where this medical procedure is common and easily facilitated compared to here in the Third World where the process is tedious, starting with the difficulty of finding a kidney donor,” he added.


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