Resilient mothers find strength in SM Foundation medical mission

Mothers play endless roles within the family—provider, accountant, teacher, engineer, and even doctor when any family member is under the weather. They are the glue that holds it all together, juggling multiple responsibilities with a nurturing spirit.

Mothers are also on-call 24/7, attending to everyone’s needs while putting their own on the backburner far too often. Yet in their selfless dedication to taking care of everyone else, they cannot afford to let their own health and well-being take a backseat on their endless to-do lists. With busy schedules and many roles to fill, they must also be intentional about their health.

This is what a mother’s life is like, according to Loida Macaling and Regina Abalain—beneficiaries of the recent SM Foundation medical mission in SM City Marilao.

Para sa ika-giginhawa ng buhay

Loida is a mother of three. Previously working as a factory worker, she walked 30 minutes each way to her job to save on costs and supplement her husband’s income. When the pandemic struck, she lost her job but swiftly sought new employment as a house helper.

However, her years of hard work have taken a physical toll. For months, she has endured a sharp, persistent pain in her heel, aggravated by the demands of walking and standing for extended periods. Mornings were especially difficult for her as she struggled to take her first steps. The ache also intensifies after a long workday.

SM Foundation staff hands over free medicines to Loida.

Despite her discomfort, Loida’s dreams for her family drive to put one foot after another every day.

“Hindi ko iniinda ang sakit dahil pag hindi ako pumasok, wala kaming pambiling bigas, wala kaming kakainin. Kailangan ko rin tulungan ang asawa ko dahil mayroon kaming mga anak,” she shared.

She continues: “Gusto ko makatapos sila ng pag aaral para umangat at guminhawa ang buhay nila, hindi kagaya ng nangyari sa akin.”

Wanting to be healthy for her loved ones, she immediately went to SM Foundation’s medical mission to seek care.  

“Noong nalaman ko na may medical mission, sabi ko, ‘pagkakataon ko na ito dahil sa mahal ng pagpapa check-up.’ Kasama na ang gamot at vitamins, hindi ko talaga kaya,” adding that her monthly income is just enough for her family’s basic needs.

During the medical mission, a weight was lifted off Loida’s shoulder. She was attended to by volunteer doctors who provided her with essential medical care, along with much-needed medications and vitamins.

Loida smiles after receiving free medicines from the SM Foundation.

Kalusugan ay kayamanan

Akin to Loida’s situation, Bulacan-based mother Regina faced similar challenges. Her second pregnancy was delicate, forcing her to quit her job as a factory worker.

Today, despite her difficult pregnancy, she prioritized his eldest son’s health and brought him to SM Foundation’s medical mission due to concerns over his persistent cough.

“Mahirap dahil buntis ako pero hindi ko maiwasan na mag alala at mapuyat para alagaan ang anak ko. Kaya dinala ko siya sa center. Nagkataon noon na walang doctor kaya’t pinayuhan kami na pumunta dito,” she shared.

As a resourceful mother, Regina said the medical mission came just in time. With expenses for her current pregnancy, such as laboratory tests, ultrasound scans, and upcoming birthing costs, she was relieved that her eldest son could receive a free dental and medical check-up, appropriate medications, and vitamins without additional financial burden. This assistance allowed them to allocate their limited budget to other important expenses. 

Regina’s seven-year-old son gives her a kiss, thanking her for taking care of him.

“Para sa aming tama lang ang budget, napakalaking tulong ng mga programang ganito. Bukod sa madali naming mapuntahan, napakaraming serbisyo at benepisyo sa isang convenient na lugar,” she said.

“Ngayon ko lalong napagtanto na ‘kalusugan ay kayamanan.’ Kapag kasi malusog ka, magaan ang pamumuhay. Wala kang iisipin at kaya mong lumaban araw-araw,” she smiled.

For decades, SM Foundation has recognized the power of healthcare in empowering and uplifting communities, enabling them to live healthier and more fruitful lives. Since its inception, the foundation has served over 1,244,720 individuals through 1,625 medical missions across the country.

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