Irish May has spastic cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, and she is blind. Her mother had eclampsia and Irish was delivered via C-section.  She was just over 3 years old in April, 2017, when she started receiving physical therapy at the hospital PT department, which is closer to her home. At that time, she could roll over and crawl, but she couldn’t sit or stand.  We are happy that she can now sit tailor fashion for short periods

Some of our children attending the rehab center for physical therapy are making good progress.  James, who is now four years old, can stand with a wall behind him for support.  But he often gets so excited with delight that he falls over.  He can also sit for long periods and is beginning to make more sounds and jabbers as he watches the TV at home.

     On a recent visit to his neighborhood, Lea saw three year old Luis and he eagerly walked toward her from his father’s arms.  We have been helping him attend the rehab center for a little over a year and he just turned three years old.  Luis’s two year old brother, Clarence, who started rehab at the same time as Luis, is making slower progress.  He can sit with a little support and rolls over.  Luis says a few simple words, but no real conversation, while Clarence isn’t verbalizing at all yet.

A group of surgeons came to Camiguin in October to do free surgeries. Lea went all around the island to visit all of our cleft patients and seven were healthy and ready for surgery. But when the day came, only two of the children were still without coughs or colds. So four year-old Zardo and thirteen month old Nino Jay had cleft lip repairs.  Zardo’s stitches came apart on one side, (his cleft lip is bilateral).  This is the second time this happened to him, but he was biting the stitches and pushing at the suture line with his tongue. We will ask the doctor to repair his palate next time since his speech is being affected, and re-do the lip last.  Nino Jay’s lip looks good and seems to be healing well.  He still needs a palate repair.


We regularly help children with burns in hopes of preventing burn contractures which can leave them handicapped.  But we don’t normally help children who have been injured in a vehicular accident since the owner of the vehicle is legally responsible for taking care of anyone injured by their vehicle.  Recently, the family of seven year old Rhian, a Grade 2 student, was hit by a motorella.  This is a motorcycle with an attachment that can carry six to eight passengers.  And this vehicle serves as a major means of transportation, especially for short distances within a municipality.  No one is quite sure how it happened, but Rhian ended underneath the motorella and her lower arm came up against the scalding hot exhaust pipe. The result was a severe burn. Lea asked Diane whether we could assist this child.  Since it was only a burn (no fractures) Diane told her we would make an exception for this child.  She has been receiving daily dressing changes with the very expensive silver sulfadiazine burn ointment and the burn is gradually healing. We hope there won’t be a contracture at the wrist joint.


This year, our former rehab patient, Bryan is now walking to his Grade 1 class with the aid of a walker from the Provincial Health Department. Although it is a little big for him, he manages to use it to get to his Grade I class.  His mother walks along with him.  It has a basket underneath and if he gets too tired, he sits in the basket and his mother pushes him the rest of the way.  He is delighted to be able to go to regular school.



At the beginning of the school year in June, we had several youngsters come for eyeglasses.  This year two sisters Maricris and Christine whom we have helped before came because their vision had become blurred.  Their refractions showed their myopia has increased and so we helped them get the new glasses.


     Two of the students we sponsor at the SPED class in Alangilan were honor students at the closing of the school year.  Jovane, aged ten, is deaf.  And his sister, who is in high school at the same school, continues to help him learn sign language at home and at school.  He did so well this past year that he will be promoted to Grade I in June, but still in the SPED classroom.



Six and a half year old Carla was brought to us because she has crossed eyes and is always blinking them.  She was born prematurely and has delayed development, which is why she is still in pre-school rather than Grade I this year.  When checked by the optician, we found out she has astigmatism and one eye is near-sighted and the other far-sighted.  We got her glasses and her eyes no longer cross when she wears the glasses.  She can also see much better.  Since the glasses seem to correct the crossing, we are hopeful that she won’t need surgery to correct the crossing.



Lester came to us last August at the age of nine years.  We don’t usually encounter children with cerebral palsy this late.  His family had moved to Camiguin recently. Although he could stand, he was only able to take a few steps and also was not using his arms and hands.  On Christmas day at their family dinner, he gave his family a special gift. He held his cup with spout top up to his mouth and drank all by himself.  He is also now able to walk around the rehab center and around his house.  His mother had been growing tired of bringing him for his physical therapy.  She has to carry him most of the distance into the center and he is heavy for her.  But now that she has seen this progress she is very enthusiastic and says all of her sacrifices are worth it.


Mark proudly showing off his art work at the SPED class. He was district winner in the art contest last year.


Diane and Lea on way to SPED classroom.