Dialysis Patients Bloom with Creativity: Panagbenga 2024 sees Unique Donation Drive on Session Road

After the grand street dance and grand float dance parade graced Session Road last February 24 and 25, begins the exciting one-week event of exploring different stalls and booths hailing from various places in the country for the annual Session Road in Bloom.

From foods such as the now-crazed Tanghulu, a famous dessert, originated in Japan to souvenirs like weaved baskets, and even the yearly tradition of searching for the best Marikina shoes to buy, any customer, local or visitor, can find anything to suit their needs.

Amidst the vibrant hues and different shops, one stall stands out for its products and the resilience and solidarity it represents.

Meet Larry Aguilar, one of the members of the Baguio Dialysis Patients’ Organization (BDPO).

For five years, Aguilar battled his kidney disease. However, despite his ongoing dialysis, his spirit remains high. Now as a Business Manager in their organization, he leads a team of around 200 patients and 60 organization members, all driven by a common purpose, to raise advocacy about kidney diseases and help their fellow members during their dialysis treatments.

The BDPO, once inactive, has been revitalized due to the drive and enthusiasm of dialysis patients in Baguio General Hospital. Their debut at this year’s Session in Bloom marks a significant milestone for their organization – a first-time endeavor to support fellow patients with hospitalization and medical benefits.

As Aguilar puts it, “Para lang makatulong sa mga parehas naming mga pasyente, kumbaga may mga funds kami na makolekta, para din sa grupo namin. Mga may benefits na pag successful yung grupo namin mga medicines, mga pang hospitalization namin.”

The day before the opening of the Session Road in Bloom, Aguilar stated that their teamwork, eagerness, and goodwill created a stall that could help other dialysis patients in their journey. “Kahapon nakakapagod. Pero marami kaming tulong-tulong, mga kasamahan kong dialysis patiens din.” he said.

In their booth adorned with tote bags and mugs, every item holds a story. Crafted and designed by dialysis patients themselves, these products symbolize not just creativity but resilience in the face of adversity.

Moreover, the booth offers more than just merchandise, they also have their Ukay-For-A-Cause, where they outsourced Ukay items from dialysis patients to sell and give back to those who are in need.

“Mahirap magkasakit ng kidney, lifetime na yan pag nagkaroon ka ng kidney disease. Mababago yung buhay mo, pero it’s not the end, bagong journey na naman ‘yon.” Aguilar stated.

In a world often clouded by challenges, Aguilar and the members of BDPO illuminate a path of hope, proving that even amidst health battles, just like a flower, the human spirit can sprout, solidarity can grow, and resiliency can blossom to pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

~Adrian Paul Andiso~




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