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Shriners: Helping hands for crippled, burnt kids

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya—The grateful parents first showed the smiles as their children came out from a surgical operation at the Region 2 Trauma and Medical Center formerly known as the Veterans Regional Hospital in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

The 25 patients were recently given a free cleft lip and palate surgery, the first batch of poor patients in the province who were given the free services through the “Project Smiles” by the team of doctors from the Philippine Band of Mercy in partnership with the Lumabang Shriners Club of Mabuhay Shriners International, Department of Health-R2TMC and Smile Train.

“These children will soon flash smiles and overcome their feeling of discrimination because of the surgical operations. They will soon mingle with their fellow children without fear of being bullied and discriminated,” Dr, Napoleon Obaña, R2TMC chief.

He said cleft lip and palate deformations occur due to genetic history, poor nutrition and care among parents.

“These natural deformations continue to occur unless we do surgical prevention to make the children’s lives normal in their respective communities,” Obaña added.

He said the free surgical services was a big help for the poor parents of the patients considering the expensive cost of the procedures from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00 excluding the required medicines. 

Before the operation, the patients passed the processes such as pre-screening, laboratory work, final clearance and admission, actual operation and their discharge from the R2TMC. Ben Moses Ebreo

The first batch of young cleft lip and palate patients were part of philanthropic advocacy of Shriners International-Lumabang Shriners Club of Nueva Vizcaya in partnership with the medical team of Philippine Band of Mercy, Smile Train and R2TMC.

The PBM team who conducted the surgical operation were Dr. Gilbert Esquejo, plastic surgeon; Dr. Ernesto Casilang, anaesthesiologist; Dr. Elisa Sunico, RN, MD; Brenda Lee Caballero, mission coordinator; nurses Angieleca Galus, Belinda Illustricimo and mission staff Gino Galus, Romeo Lopez and Rhea Cadelenia.

The Mabuhay Shriners in Nueva Vizcaya which was formed through a ceremonial in 2017 under the sponsorship of the Sierra Madre Shrine Club at the PLT Resort in Solano town started to spread their advocacy “Share to Show You Care” by sponsoring the surgical treatment of burnt and crippled children in the province.

It adopted the club name Lumabang, a Gaddang term for a cave which was the historical name of Solano town. The town was later renamed Solano in honor of Governor General Ramon Solano y Llanderal.

The first 36 novices provided wheelchairs to the needy in Bambang, Bayombong and Solano towns including other philanthropic projects in Nueva Vizcaya.

The charter of Lumabang Shriner Club was awarded during the 49th Shriners Ceremonial at Antipolo, Rizal in November 10, 2018.

As an expression of the passion of the 59 charter members to serve, they immediately conducted a feeding and gift giving program to more than 100 children in Loreland Resort.

“We continue to provide assistance, especially to those crippled and burnt children to transform their lives for the better so that they can also become responsible citizens of their respective communities,” said Noble Gerald Mart Gamboa, president of the Lumabang Shriners Club.

Other officers are Nobles Nathanael Vidad (1st Vice President), Norberto Cue (2nd VP), Reynald Delos Trinos (Secretary), Charlie Hiadan (Treasurer), Rowell Ramel (Auditor), Tristan Almuete (Chaplain), Janos Taeza, Reonel Joseph Pataueg, Leopoldo Bernal (Marshals) and Harrison Uy, Leonel Callejo as business managers. 

Topics: Veterans Regional Hospital , cleft lip and palate surgery , Department of Health , “Project Smiles” , Philippine Band of Mercy
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