Martin supports EPCALM
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2013 - 12:00am

A few years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Patch Adams, an American physician, social activist and author. I learned an important lesson in medicine from him. During our conversation, I asked him, “What is being a doctor all about?” He smiled and replied, “It’s all about love.”

I am truly blessed to have crossed paths with Dr. Erlyn Demerre and to have been touched by her kindness. She is a living testament that there are good and caring people in the world. I have been friends with her since she became Nanay’s cardiologist and mine, too.

A beautiful person inside and out, Dr. Demerre has not only touched thousands of lives by her brilliance and expertise but also for her humanity, compassion and for everything she does beyond being a doctor.

Dr. Demerre is the founder and chairman of the board of EPCALM, a Christ-centered, non-stock, non-profit organization that reaches out to assist leukemia victims and their families. EPCALM is the acronym for Erwin Piedad Cabanag Adult Leukemia Ministries. Her brother, lawyer Erwin Cabanag, was the city fiscal of Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental when he succumbed to leukemia on May 12, 2005 at the age of 45. Her brother died four days before their family was set to leave for the United States for treatment.

It was a two-year journey against leukemia. According to Dr. Demerre, it was a journey of faith that tested their family ties. They also realized that there was no adult leukemia foundation in the country.

With her experience, she made it her personal advocacy to help leukemia patients and their families. Today, the first adult leukemia foundation in the Philippines is known as the EPCALM Adult Leukemia Foundation of the Philippines, Inc.

EPCALM’s mission is “to be a vehicle through which patients afflicted with leukemia will experience God’s love and faithfulness.” It acknowledges that God is the Hope, the Healer and the Provider. Dr. Demerre said EPCALM wants to journey with patients, to show them that God is always in control and that there is hope for every patient.

The organization’s vision is “to establish and be an internationally recognized center of excellence for spiritual, physical and emotional nourishment of leukemia patients as they journey towards wholeness.”

Dr. Demerre explains, “EPCALM works through its network of committed partners and volunteers to extend spiritual, medical, and financial services and resources. EPCALM seeks to be a resource for leukemia patients to help improve their quality of life, discover spiritual, physical and emotional nourishment, and acquire renewed hope as they journey towards wholeness.”

When I heard about EPCALM through Dr. Demerre, I was immediately drawn to its advocacy. I graciously accepted the invitation to be part of the EPCALM Grief Management Seminar. EPCALM is a mission, a task that not many of us actually do but when we become involved, we find joy in serving others. After all, we are our brother’s keeper.

EPCALM assists leukemia patients by raising donations, embarking on medical missions, providing continued monitoring, advocating new medical procedures and technologies, empowering communities to help raise awareness and to be proactive. To continue carrying out this noble cause, EPCALM welcomes kind-hearted individuals to participate in its fund-raising activities.

You can order the EPCALM-customized Martin Nievera Christmas CD titled My Christmas List which contains 18 tracks and produced by PolyEast Records. The selling price is the same as record bars at P350 per CD but for EPCALM, it’s a 10 plus one offer. More discounts with bulk orders. Dr. Demerre is grateful to Martin for lending his healing voice. When he heard about EPCALM, his heart leapt for joy as he found a window of opportunity to embrace the worthy cause. He volunteered to be involved in EPCALM’s music ministry and be its in-house singer. Martin also joined the Grief Management Seminar to serenade songs of hope and joy for all participants.

EPCALM is the official beneficiary of Martin’s repeat concert titled Tatlong Dekada Anniversary Concert — The Repeat at the Big Dome on Nov. 22. Tickets are P4,225 (Patron VIP), P3,700 (Patron), P2,640 (Lower Box), P1,000 (Upper Box A), P530 (Upper Box B) and P265 (General Admission). You can reserve slots ahead through EPCALM. You can call 723-1058, 0932-8548459, 0932-8548460, 0932-8548461 or e-mail info@epcalm.org or epcalm@epcalm.org. It is also on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also give out EPCALM Christmas/all-purpose cards and share in spreading the advocacy to help leukemia patients. 2013 EPCALM cards come in four beautiful new designs. Price is P2,500 per pack of 12. You can see the designs posted on www.epcalm.org.

The EPCALM office is located at Suite 341 Medical Arts Building, St. Luke’s Medical Center, 279 E. Rodriguez Blvd. Quezon City.

ADULT LEUKEMIA FOUNDATION OF THE PHILIPPINES BIG DOME DEMERRE DR. DEMERRE DR. ERLYN DEMERRE DR. PATCH ADAMS DUMAGUETE CITY EPCALM GRIEF MANAGEMENT SEMINAR LEUKEMIA
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