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Sta. Elena Construction builds hope for children with cancer

(From left) Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss, Miss World chairman Julia Morley, Miss World 2012 Megan Young, Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp. president & CEO Alice Eduardo, and Miss World Philippines National Director Cory Quirino.

MANILA, Philippines - Despite his rare condition, seven-year-old cancer patient Nico has been given a new lease on life, thanks to kind, generous hearts and dedicated doctors. The child is undergoing treatment at the spanking P8-million-peso Hematology-Oncology Isolation Ward of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) recently turned over by philanthropist-entrepreneur Alice Eduardo.

Nico was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in the last quarter of 2014. His parents took him to PGH after he suffered a week of projectile vomiting and headache. Medulloblastoma is a fast-growing, high-grade brain tumor in the lower, rear portion of the brain, and comprises 18 per cent of all pediatric brain tumors. After doctors performed a subtotal excision of his tumor in November 2014, Nico regained consciousness. He was weaned from a mechanical ventilator a few days later. With current therapies, including radiation, 70 to 80 per cent of children with average-risk medulloblastoma can expect to live and be free of the disease within five years of diagnosis.

Alice Eduardo, president and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp., led the inauguration of the pediatric cancer at the PGH last February. The donation was made under the auspices of PGH Medical Foundation and Miss World Organization. Julia Morley, chairman of Miss World, flew to Manila to attend the blessing along with Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss.

The 320-sqm. Hematology-Oncology Isolation Ward can accommodate 15 terminally ill and immuno-compromised children stricken with various types of cancer. Through the facility, PGH is able to provide special attention and care to its unique patients, isolate these children from other wards where their low immunity makes them vulnerable to communicable diseases, and provide a specialized treatment area for procedures such as bone marrow aspiration and other laboratory requirements.

The ward is connected to a pocket garden with a home setting, where patients and their families can enjoy quality time.

In line with PGH’s war against cancer, the hospital now also has a campaign for early detection of eye cancer, or retinoblastoma.

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