Cru Baguio officially opened in December 2009. It currently houses more or less 17 children although we have had many more during medical missions and emergencies. Marissa Dela Peña, our center head, leads her team of 12 missionaries. Marissa, Edwin and their two children live in the center and are truly “Nanay” (Mother) and “Tatay” (Father) to the kids. Many of the children in this area come from far away provinces to be treated at Baguio General Hospital and Benguet General Hospital. Often they have had 4 to 8 hour journeys to reach the hospital and so having a recovery unit is vital in this area as many kids once treated never make it back to the hospital for their follow up check ups. It’s been a major frustration for the hospital and doctors but we are hoping to be able to help.
Our social worker Jenny has had to do a home visits that included travelled for almost 8 hours just to get there. That included bus, jeep and hours of walking up mountains. When she arrived she was glad she’d brought one of the other staff who is native of that area as they’d gone so far away that the people there actually spoke a different dialect! Thankfully Marydith was able to communicate with the family of our patient.
Many of the children come from such remote area’s that they don’t speak Tagalog or English and so it is vital that we have bilingual staff on duty when they arrive. Baguio CRU has a different culture than CRU Olongapo. The patients tend to have more serious illnesses and there is a high incidence of leukemia in this area. We have noticed that most are the children of farmers. The pesticides must cause the leukemia. Because cancer takes a long time to treat, the children tend to stay at CRU Baguio for quite a while. In fact, many stay the whole three years of treatment, till they can go home to their families or until they go home to be with the Lord. Its an intense ministry and certainly isn’t for the fainthearted. The team need to be strong in the Lord and knowledgeable in their fields. It’s a mix of practical, spiritual and emotional care that each child needs. Thankfully, they are able to get that at CRU.
Baguio folk are very generous and we have been blessed to be the beneficiaries of benefit dinners, fun runs, birthday parties and donations of food, rice, clothes and toys. Long may that continue!
[Not a valid template]