Baguio people show ailing girl what kindness is about
Human beings have always had it in them to extend a hand to someone in need, even if it’s someone they barely know.
This was proven once again by a number of this city’s residents when they helped grant the wish of a six-year-old ailing girl from a hard-up family in Pateros to see Baguio City.
A University of the Philippines Baguio alumnus’ fund-raising drive to send Chrislyne Maui Dollaigue to Baguio City produced about P18,000, a sizeable part of which was contributed by a Baguio resident.
Last Aug. 9 to 11, the fund drive culminated in Maui’s consequent trip to Baguio City. Her parents Chito and Evelyn and younger sister Abel came with her. Fundraiser Jose Orlando “Tiki” Garcia accompanied them.
The cash is apart from the various forms of kindness and kinship extended by some Baguio residents who have read about Maui and her wish to see the city.
A parent who lost a child to the same illness that Maui is afflicted with called Garcia to simply talk about his child and how Maui is doing now.
A businessman who is also a UP Baguio alumnus provided hotel rooms and meals for the family which has significantly augmented the expenses for their weekend stay. Another lady offered a transient house for free and has signified willingness to host the family if ever they will come back.
Roland and Leah Paez, upon reading the July 27 Baguio Midland Courier article on Maui, contacted Garcia and suggested to him to include Mines View Park in Maui’s itinerary. “Ang gusto lang namin kasi talaga e makapagpasaya ng tao,” Leah said.
The Paezes are the owners of ‘Doglas’ and ‘DJ’, the St. Bernards at the park who are now certified tourist attractions. The couple gave Maui a St. Bernard stuffed toy which the girl named ‘DJ liit’.
Evelyn finally realized her dream to climb the Lourdes Grotto steps with Maui. They also rode a boat at Burnham Lake and went around the city to see as much as they could.
Part of the money raised by Garcia was used for Maui’s medication when she was confined on July 16. “I would like to give credit to…all those who helped even in the smallest of ways…It is amazing how a small drop of pebble in the pond can produce an amazing rippling effect of kindness,” Garcia said.
He met Maui last June through an intern during one of his visits at the UP-Philippine General Hospital. In one of their talks, Maui, who is a “PGH regular,” told him it is her fervent wish to see Baguio City after her treatment at that time was through.
She has hydrocephalus and weak legs that cause her to be immobile so she has to be carried around. She has Arnold Chiari II Malformation, a “rare genetic disorder in which the cerebellum portion of the brain protrudes down into the spinal canal.”
“Tuwang tuwa si Maui [dahil nakapunta siya ng Baguio]. Ako rin natutuwa kasi ’yung mga hindi ko pa kakilala ang tumulong sa amin,” Evelyn said.
The family will look at photos of their three-day Baguio stay with fondness, but what will stay with them longer is the memory of the unexpected kindness of the people in the city Maui wanted so much to visit.