“Because We Care”
Patient empowerment through art, poetry, etc., in a sort of ‘wellness’ community that takes care of the patient and his family as a whole..
We are a group of dynamic and caring individuals committed to meeting the spiritual, emotional, and practical needs of cancer patients, their families, and caregivers, by providing holistic care and support throuh buildin and maintainin a healin center for education, counseling, networkin and empowerment.
The logo can be visualized as a HEART within a circle and/or a woman cuddling a child, in a tender, loving AMUMA way. Its colors: Orange-Red represents LOVE and WARMTH, and Green, HOPE.
History of AMUMA Cancer Support Group Foundation, Inc.
It all started when Dr. Mary Margaret P. Domingo’s testimony of her healing. “My God Who loves, My God Who Saves”, was featured by Bernard Buela in the November 23, 2002 issue of the Catholic Herald. Fr. Bob Hogan SJ, her teacher in Catholic Spirituality and Christology at IRRE, ADDU, advised Margie to see Fr. Albert E. Alejo SJ, who was then organizing a cancer support group in Davao. To a doctor who ministers to the sick and the dying and wanted to show a return of love to God Who had saved her from cancer, this was a dream come true.
On February 9, 2003, though not feeling well, Margie went to San Pablo to join the choir for the Sunday mass, which providently was being celebrated by Fr. Alejo, substituting for another priest. An appointment date was set. Two days later Margie, with her friend, Edna Fanlo, met Fr. Alejo again. He briefed them on his project, informing them about the Circle of Cancer Survivors and Friends in London and in Manila, and of his friend, Doris Aquino, a cancer survivor who died after 15 years of remission from breast cancer. The group next assembled on March 25, Feast of the Annunciation, at the Jesuit House, Bella and Chulai Sarenas also attending, committed to help Fr. Alejo organize a support group.
It was on April 1 when twenty-four cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and friends met with Fr. Alejo at the Bio Room of the Imperial Hotel, courtesy of Ding and Elsie Diaz, cancer survivors themselves. Weekly meetings and brain-storming sessions followed, during which the name of the group was decided on, its mission-vision formulated through a committee headed by Gico Dayanghirang, and the articles of incorporation processed with the legal advice and guidance of Atty. Pinky Cabreros, through the cooperation of Luchie Trinidad’s committee. A week-end recollection and planning session was held on May 24-25 at the Island in the Sky (Luchie Trinidad’s rest house) in Epol, Davao City with 30 members attending, among whom were two priests, Fr. Alejo and Fr. Renato “Ning” Puentevella.
On May 27, the officers and members of the board were chosen from a list of nominees and appointed to hold office for two years, namely: President – Mary Margaret Domingo; Vice-President – Suzette Alino; Secretary – Evelyn Madrazo; Asst. Secretary – Bella Sarenas; Treasurer – Ma. Luz Trinidad; Asst. Secretary – Stevenson Hermosa; Auditor – Antonio G. Diaz; Fr. Alejo and Fr. Puentevella were made board members, together with Lino Borromeo, Enrico Dayanghirang and Romeo Tan.
In the first board meeting on June 3, the Constitution and By-Laws were discussed. Membership in the corporation was defined, and the modes of acquiring membership, the rights and privileges of members, and the specifics of election and term of office were delineated.
After a Mass in the ADDU Chapel on July 5, the launching of the Amuma Cancer Support Group Foundation, Inc. and the induction of its officers took place in the Mini-Auditorium, with a “Share a Lugaw” fund-raising activity and fellowship. During the ceremony, a cancer survivor gave testimonies. Dr. Herminio Villano, Sr., President, Davao Cancer Society, and Olga Corpuz, SMILES (Support ng may K), delivered messages. Mr. Fermin Adrian Ph. D., author of the book, Oh God, Why Sarah?, was the guest speaker.
AMUMA President Domingo wrote on July 24 a letter to Ms. Barbara Solon of Circle of Cancer Survivors and Friends (UK), thanking her for the group’s moral, as well as financial, support and assuring her of AMUMA’s solidarity with the parent organization.
Among the activities of AMUMA are Eucharistic Celebration every first Saturday of the month, at 5 p.m. in the Ateneo College Chapel and in the other members respective places of worship; a series of symposia on Cancer Awareness for the Medical Information Program; “9 Danger Signs” by Dr. Alex Tan and “Most Frequently Asked Questions in Radiotherapy“ by Dr. Ma. Lourdes Lacanilao (July 24); “Pain Management” by Dr. Antonio Yap (August 1); “Lung Cancer and Smoking” by Drs. Romulo Uy and Parkash Mansukhani (August 14); “Prostatic and Cervical malignancies” by Drs. Oscar Escudero and Helen Te-Santos (September 9); “Breast Cancer and Cancer Detection in Women” by Drs. Rolando Chiu and Conception Rayel (October 8). All these medical symposia were held in the Davao Doctors Oncology Center, through the generosity and support of Dr. Herminio Villano, Sr., Dr. Malou Lacanilao, Ging Somozo and their staff. The Psycho-Spiritual Ecumenical Recollections and Activities started off on Aug. 1, with a lecture and activity, “Ngut ngot (Coping with Pain)” by Dr. Teresa Yap, “Midlife Crisis” by Suzette Alino (October 25); and “Healing Through Art” by Sister Aida, “With Pain” by Dr. Teresa Yap, “Midlife Crisis” by Suzette Alino (October 25); and “Healing Through Art” by sister Aida Sabandal, MIC (November 13).
Present membership has increased to almost 200. Composed of cancer patients, survivors, their families and friends–doctors in varied specialties, nurses, allied medical and other professionals, psychologist, bankers, government employees, priests, religious, pastors, teachers, housewives and even students, young and old alike. All of them are storming Heaven with their prayers as they work untiringly to fulfill AMUMA’s vision of “patient empowerment through art, poetry, etc., in a sort of ‘wellness’ community that takes care of the patient and his family as a whole… by providing holistic care and support through building and maintaining a healing center for education, counseling, networking and empowerment.
Fr. Renato L. Puentevella, SJ –‘Sige Daw‘