Martes, Hunyo 4, 2019

Strong for Someone Advocacy: Building A Community of Support for Cancer Patients

“As a global organization of over 120 years, we commit ourselves to really doing what patients need next, not just in research but by way of assistance. In reality, while we produce medicines, what we do not understand is what else goes on inside a patient’s mind. And to be honest, while we aim for better outcomes physically, what they truly need is to be strong for someone. Our patients need our strength as well. ~Dr. Theresa Martinez, Roche (Phils) Inc. General Manager. 
(from L-R) Dr. Clarito Cairo, Cancer Program Manager for DOH; Dr. Hiyasmin Alejandro, Chair of Multimedia Committee of PH Society of Medical Oncology; Dr. Marilucel Aganon from PCSO; Celebrity Vlogger Wil Dasovich; Aileen Antolin, VP & trustee for Program Development of Phil. Foundation for Breast Cancer Inc.; and Dr. Diana Edralin, Country Medical Director of Roche (Phils.) Inc.
In the battle against cancer, it's easier to be strong when you are STRONG FOR SOMEONE. Cancer is strong, but the fight against it is stronger, especially when there are people around us to battle this brutal disease with. In the Philippines, cancer poses major staggering challenges that menace so many Filipinos. Aside from being the second leading cause of mortality, many patients cry out financial setbacks from the hefty cost of treatment and the emotional torment along the battle journey.

Strong for Someone
Roche (Philippines) Inc. coordinated with different groups, including Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO), a professional non-profit organization of Medical Oncologists that aims to advance the science and ethical, holistic practice of cancer care in the Philippines. This organization of doctors serves as the pillar in providing education on the latest treatment solutions and information available for cancer patients. Launched its Strong for Someone as the market leader in oncology in the Philippines. It is a great campaign that offers support for all Filipinos diagnosed with cancer, offering to provide so much for cancer patients, both financially and emotionally (monetary funds + support groups). Many of us are unaware that one of the most important things that could help someone get through the tough experience during battling with cancer was SUPPORT, unfortunately not available for everyone who gets diagnosed with the disease. Strong for Someone advocacy aims to inspire and ignite strength among cancer patients and their families by creating a nationwide community that will serve as their pillars of support. Strong for Someone is a multi-stakeholder campaign that provides access to information for cancer patients, caregivers, and their families on disease awareness, treatment solutions, funding sources, and emotional support. 


(L-R) Aileen Antolin, Vice President and Trustee for Program Development Philippine Foundation for Breast Cancer Inc.,; Wil Dasovich, Strong for Someone Ambassador Cancer Survivor; Jojo Flores, Cancer Survivor, and Advocate.

Cancer is strong, but the fight against it is stronger, especially when there are people around us to battle this brutal disease with. 


The Strong for Someone advocacy emphasizes that the fight in keeping cancer at bay is plausible with the right medical expertise, timely healthcare interventions and cutting edge pharmaceutical solutions; by making a life-saving solution available; and by forming a support system whose listening ears and helping hands will serve as a moral compass for the patient.


Besting treatment solutions
But Roche (Phils) Inc. country manager director Dr. Diana Edralin said many cancer-stricken patients abruptly bailout from undergoing treatment procedure due to personal reasons, availability of medicine or they just simply choose to concede in the battle. This is because they are not served with more comprehensive and in-depth information on the treatments and other options that they make take.

To address this concern, the organization coordinated with the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO), a professional non-profit organization of medical oncologists that aims to advance the science and ethical, holistic practice of cancer care in the Philippines. They also help to provide education on the latest treatment solutions and information available for cancer patients.
“We want our approach to be more on giving patients informed decision. Before we decide on doing or undergoing any particular treatment, they should at least have an informed decision. Gather all information they can get that are validated and from reliable sources and then decide. We advocate the choice of patients, but still, as clinicians, we want the best for our patients.” ~Dr. Hiyasmin Alejandro, PSMO Chair of Multimedia Committee
Strong for Someone
Financial access
As one of the most financially catastrophic illnesses, Roche (Phils) Inc. tapped the support of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to share both existing and upcoming programs that will lessen the financial burden among cancer patients and their families.

DOH Cancer Program Manager Dr. Clarito Cairo said the health sector has rolled out financial assistance programs for Filipino cancer patients and is continually working to widen its access sites in the coming months to help more cancer patients and survivors.
“Even before the enactment of the cancer law, we have the medical assistance program in 2017 and we have the medicine access program since 2011 for breast cancer, childhood cancer, and colorectal cancer. For medical assistance program, we cover the diagnostic and therapeutic expenses.” ~Dr. Clarito Cairo, DOH Cancer Program Manager
Dr. Cairo said with the signing of the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, the DOH assistance programs will soon be scaled up and institutionalized for better accessibility, health outcomes and reduced financial burden.

PCSO also provides financial assistance under its Individual Medical Assistance Program. According to PCSO representative Dr. Marilucel Aganon, cancer patients can apply and avail of financial assistance from the organization anywhere in the country as long as they secure a complete copy of the required documents. 

Moral support
Strong for Someone is also endorsed by no less than television personality, model, and vlogger, Wil Dasovich, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2017; but with the help and support of family and community, he was able to fight the disease. He serves as proof that a strong support group helps a cancer patient battle the disease better and stronger.
“While we recognize that better outcomes for patients are expected as new treatments are discovered and become available in the market, we also believe in the importance of the collective resolve of the patient’s support system to not give up and to be strong for each other. Each cancer patient needs to have pillars of support: their families, their doctors, other patients, government institutions, private organizations. We are here to bridge them together.” ~Edgar de las Alas, Campaign Lead from Roche
With this campaign, Roche, together with its partners and ambassador, aims to bring out strength from a network and community by using platforms that would further increase awareness on the advocacy campaign. These include videos and an interactive community page that will present cancer patient stories of survivorship to serve as an anthem of strength between patient and their loved ones. These channels will also serve as sources of information, engagement, and build connections from patients, doctors, support groups, and institutions that can help provide financial support.

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I encourage you to join the Strong for Someone FB page and be a part of this community. And to everyone who has battled or is currently going through a great challenge, my prayers go out to both you and your family. ❤️

If you’re battling the big C or you’re supporting someone who is, join the Strong for Someone community and let us help you stay strong in this fight. Let us realize how important it is to be #StrongforSomeone.

Strong for Someone
Strong for Someone
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To know more about Strong for Someone advocacy campaign, follow https://www.facebook.com/pg/StrongforSomeone.



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