Take heart!

“The journey isn’t really hard knowing that you have someone to journey with” – Roseann Garcia (NCFPI Patient Volunteer)

Let me start my story by sharing with you how amazing that I got to know about my new-found family – NCFPI. 3 years ago, I was in the Municipality of Pandi to get some requirements for my scholarship. One of the employees there was just staring at me the whole time of which I am already used to. People would stare at me like it was their first time seeing a person with cleft. After I got my requirements, he asked me if I can go upstairs to meet some people who can help me along.

That time, I didn’t understand what was happening. I went with him in the Mayor’s office without knowing that those people will help me change my entire life. If you think it was a coincidence, no — it was destiny. I am destined to know Ms. Gina Sevilla and NCFPI. I know it was God who sent them. It was God’s way. That is the story of how I found my destiny.

I am the 4th child among the seven children.. I am the only one who is cleft. 22 years of my life wasn’t that easy because there were so many times I thought of giving up due to discrimination and rejection. I felt lost, I felt unloved, I felt rejected, and I felt like the whole world is unfair. Every day of my life, I feel different. I had a fear of waking up and facing each morning. I sleep not to take rest but to somehow forget everything even for an hour. I got depressed and stressed. I had no reason to live at that time, but thanks be to God He rescued me. I woke up one morning and the Lord allowed me to see how blessed I am for having my family.

The journey wasn’t really hard knowing that you have someone to journey with. Because of the pain, self-pity, and rejection, I forgot those people who love me and cared for me. Later, I found out that I have chosen the wrong decision. I chose to let the pain drives me and let my true purpose die. I have chosen to embrace the pain instead of letting it go. I am now awakened. And I choose to let go of the pain and forgive myself for choosing to be miserable.

To my co-patients, overcoming my fear, accepting my flaws and imperfection helps me live a life glorifying the Lord with the help of my families, friends, and church mates. I can when the Lord said I can.

I graduated this year with Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Marketing management. I was part of an organization in our college as a representative. I joined dance group and we got awards with those competitions. Why am I telling you all these? I want to encourage all cleft patients like me that if I can do it, you also can do it. Go forth and fulfill your purpose — our purpose. Stand on the gap and make a difference!

Dearest parents and guardians, the journey will not be easy but please take heart. We really appreciate you. For us, the journey isn’t hard knowing that we have you. Hold on, God is with us in this journey.

In all of these, I just want to thank NCFPI for giving us hope, courage and bringing back our smile again. Thank you for all the parents who put their strength and effort to give us a good future. We are thankful to all the doctors who are committing their time and effort for us to have a normal life. Above all, all the glory and thanksgiving be to God.