Cancer ‘won’t wait,’ even for the lockdown

On March 17, the day the island of Luzon was put on lockdown, Henry Dela Cruz Jr. walked nearly five kilometers to claim his guarantee letter at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Quezon City.

Dela Cruz—who has an uncommon form of bone marrow cancer—needed the letter to help cover the costs of his chemotherapy medicines. His long-awaited appointment fell on the first day of the enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The document waives 10,000 pesos from his monthly 16,000-peso bill for capsules.

He might have walked the whole 11 kilometers to get to the PCSO at the Lung Center of the Philippines from his house in Antipolo City had not a good samaritan given him a ride halfway through his journey.

Dela Cruz is one of two cancer patients who made national news in March for having braved the roads amid the suspension of public transportation during the ECQ. For many others, however, this was not possible.


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