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Cebu News

Mom fighting cancer for her kids

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - "Lord, extend my life for my children," has been the plea of 49-year-old mother of three Liliosa Lisondra, who has been fighting cancer for about 12 years now.

Long since her husband left her some six years ago due to heart attack, Liliosa took the sole responsibility of raising their children, seeing to it that she could provide her children’s needs especially for their studies.

Liliosa makes every effort to raise her children well and protect them from harm so that they would not trudge the same dark path as hers, when no less than two of her uncles sexually abused her.

"I can say I am really a fighter," Liliosa told The FREEMAN.

Since then, she has sought God’s refuge and her faith never failed her.  The more struggles she face in life, the more she seek outs for God through prayers.

She only implores one thing – for God to extend her life for her children to live.

She is fondly called by many as "Lovely" and has been blessed with three children who are already in their adolescent age.

The eldest is 22 years old  and is already a college graduate.  The second child, 18, is an incoming third year college student, while the third one is 16 years old is an incoming Grade 11 high school student.

Her three children are the reason for her to still thrive in life.

Liliosa is currently a cancer survivor.  She was diagnosed to have breast cancer in 2005.

When she learned about the “Big C,” she just surrendered to her worries to God, since she has no enough money to avail of the required medication.

She would rather use her income for her children, Liliosa said.

At present, she is managing her shop that caters to events and parties.

Through prayers, some moments leave her surprised after some people, in most unexpected ways, just lend their hand to assist her when she desperately needs money.

She thought that she will be the one who will be taken by God first considering her health problem.

God choosing her to live, rather than her husband, is something that is meant with purpose, she said.

Many thought she would marry another man, she adds, but she decided to enter a charismatic community and served as the lector at the Nativity of Mary Parish in Mandaue City, where she is presently residing.

But raising her children alone was never easy for her.

She shared that the hardest challenge in her life right now is losing someone whom she can confide her problems with.

"There are times when you need somebody to talk to, but there is no one. It’s different when you have a partner with whom you can support each other when there are problems in bills or education of your children," she said.

Liliosa said she has always been caught in financial crisis and at times resort to loaning services.

She said it breaks her heart when her children ask for something but she could not give any.

She said she would not want to give out her children even if some offered to because she feared something bad might happen to them, just like what she experienced before.

She said she was separated from her parents and was raised by her grandmother.  It was then that her two uncles allegedly abused her.  That incident gave her the resolve to always keep her children by her side, no matter what happens.

"I will keep fighting for my kids and I don't want for them to experience my past," she said.

Despite her dark past, she said she never questioned God's existence and providence since she knows that He has always been with her.

Many people had asked her if how she has survived for all those years in spite of the heavy trials she had gone through.

She said her only source of survival is her faith in God.

"I hear Mass every day. I never miss a day. It increases your faith.  Like if I run out of money, I just pray. I pray to Him my worries and He finds ways to ease them," she said.

She urged mothers to always pray even if problems seem unsolvable and to never lose hope.

She did. She never gave up, despite the several reasons for her to do so.

She shared that her world seems to crumble down when she learned that her eldest child — her only daughter — was bearing a child.

She learned about it last March 2016.

"Many pitied me. I just cried it out. I thought she was the key for us to have a better life. Debts had been piling up. I was hopeful that she will be the one to help me," she said.

She added she had come to accept the situation and still was hopeful that God has instilled something better for her and her family in the future.

She still looks forward for a better tomorrow amid her health concern and she never cease praying.

She said every year their group of cancer patients loses a member and she does not even seek treatment unlike others.

She said her only medicine was the Eucharist (or host) that she receives every communion during Mass. This may seem effective to her since she has not observed any bad condition to her body.

She coupled her attendance in the daily Masses with prayers appealing to God that she may continue to live for her to still look after them. (FREEMAN)

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