DURING the Strategic Planning Workshop and Leadership Meeting of the Pediatric Oncology Leaders in the Asia Pacific Region, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go thanked the doctors who have always heeded the call to serve the sick, most especially the poor and indigent Filipino children.
Attended by international delegates from all over the Asia Pacific region and held in Davao City on September 20, the Senator also emphasized the role of doctors in treating one of the country’s top killer disease – cancer, specifically mentioning pediatric oncologists whose patients are close to the senator’s heart.
In his speech, Go said that “Through the efforts of Filipino doctors and caregivers, I have witnessed how committed and focused care — regardless of the capacity to pay — resulted in a marked improvement in the survival rate and quality of life of children with cancer.”
“Truly, along with effective use of medicine, the human component of cancer management plays a vital role in the success of cancer treatment. I, therefore, thank our doctors and caregivers for being hardworking, reliable and compassionate lifesavers,” he added.
Go also highlighted his mentor and role model, President Rodrigo Duterte, who has always put into action the true meaning of “malasakit.”
“Marami akong natutunan kay Pangulong Duterte kung paano magmalasakit. Nakita ko kay Pangulong Duterte kung paano magmalasakit sa Pilipino,” he gratefully said.
The organizers of the event, House of Hope, is one of the benefactors of the President’s love and care for Filipino children who have cancer.
“Napakaimportante kay Pangulong Duterte, cancer patients have always been a priority of the president. Way back 2011, in fact, he donated his own house during that time, just to house the cancer patients,” Go cited referring to the house of President Duterte inside Margarita Village in Lanang which the president donated to the organization.
Today, the House of Hope run by the Davao Children’s Cancer Fund, Inc. is now permanently housed in that home donated by the former mayor. Every year, the President makes it a tradition to visit the children with cancer patients during Christmas, his birthday and Valentine’s Day. The President also continues his commitment to these children with cancer by helping raise funds for the organization.
Go, following in his mentor’s footsteps, saw these actions and decided to pay it forward. Go said during the occasion that he had many times visited children cancer patients and assisted them by “helping them access prompt medical care,” and coordinated with their families, doctors and health professionals in the field.
On his birthday last year, he was also able to visit child cancer patients at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City.
“It always inspires and amazes me to see these children so full of life and full of HOPE despite of all the difficulties that they are going through. Their joy gives me courage and strength—that is why I am also full of HOPE that we can pave the way for a future with these kids,” Go said.