Mother of four beats breast cancer

Abu Dhabi: Thess Trinidad, a 38-year-old homemaker from the Philippines, was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in the summer of 2016, which quickly progressed to stage III. Doctors then advised eight sessions of chemotherapy for the mother of four, followed by a surgical removal of the affected breast.

Trinidad, who lost her job as a technical coordinator when her health deteriorated, began receiving chemotherapy, but soon ran out of funds. Her husband’s telecommunication subcontracting business also did not provide much of an income, and this is when Trinidad reached out to Gulf News.

“I haven’t been able to see my three older children in five years, and because my cancer is so aggressive, I cannot even fly back to see them till I have beaten the disease,” she told Gulf News at the time.

And then, Gulf News readers pitched in to contribute more than Dh80,000 within days of a report on Trinidad’s plight being published in December 2016.

Trinidad said an anonymous donor from India called in and offered Dh45,000 for Trinidad’s treatment, adding that she could always call him for any further support she needed. St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai also raised Dh27,000 for Trinidad, while students at The Cambridge High School collected Dh8,500 through a fund-raising campaign.

The funds meant that Trinidad was able to continue her chemotherapy, and received surgery at a private facility in Abu Dhabi. She was then given the all-clear in June 2017, having battled her disease for nearly two whole years.

“Last month, I visited my doctor for the six-month follow-up, and I was told that I am cancer free. As I have always felt, I am fine and healthy today because of God’s blessings, which provided me with the kindness and generosity of countless strangers and well-wishers,” Trinidad told Gulf News.

Still, not all is well for Trinidad and her family. Her three older children live in the Philippines in the province of Quezon with their paternal grandmother, and Trinidad has not been able to fly home to see them for nearly six years now. Her aged mother also regularly asks when she will next see Trinidad.

“They are growing up and I miss them terribly. But I am yet to repay a loan that I had taken to support my family in 2009. I lost my job when I became unable to work due to the cancer, and I have no means to pay back the remaining Dh30,000,” she said.

Trinidad’s husband brings home Dh1,500 a month, and for want of funds, the couple continues to homeschool their youngest child, now aged five years.

“I continue to hold out hope that things will soon work out. After all, I have come through the other side of being diagnosed with cancer, and I hope I will soon find a way out of this situation as well,” she added.

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