In his desire to honor our son’s ultimate sacrifice for him, my husband Roel decided to join this contest (sponsored by Champion Detergent and Fox International Channels) a few months back. His was among the three entries that made it to the final round.
In celebration of the World Kidney Day, I am now sharing this with all of you.
You might also want to read this, another article I wrote about my personal battle during that critical time when our family was struggling against the dreaded Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
MY CHAMPION HERO
By Roel M. Aquino
When I first became a father at the young age of 21, I vowed that I will always love, support and protect my children. Little did I know then that a time will come when it would be I who would need those things from my kids.
It was September of last year when I learned that I had Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease. I immediately had to undergo a thrice-a-week hemodialysis treatment while my wife and I were still in the process of pooling all our financial resources, both for the costly kidney transplant operation AND for the search for a possible kidney donor, whose kidney would hopefully be a good match with mine. Those tasks proved to be challenging, tedious, emotionally taxing and, to an extent, frustrating.
When our children (aged 19, 18 and 16) learned that they, as my own flesh and blood, could be the ideal candidates for kidney donation, they readily volunteered themselves for testing. However, it was my eldest child’s gesture that really touched me. He approached me and casually said, “Daddy, I want to be your donor.” Just like that. No drama. No funfare. No theatrics. But that one statement (and the three children’s quick and candid offer), in all its simplicity, sincerity and spontaneity, struck a parental chord in me. Hard. Because I knew that behind those words were a child’s deep emotions for his father – respect, trust, compassion, gratitude and love.
Today, three months after a successful kidney transplant operation, my very own Superhero – my son, Emar – is fully recovered and is back to his old, active and busy self. He is a Chemical Engineering junior at the University of the Philippines, diligently maintaining a magna cum laude status. He is a productive member of his school organization, the UP Chemical Engineering Society, Inc. After his classes each day, he proceeds to Headcoach, a tutorial center along Katipunan Ave., for a two-hour Math-teaching job. During weekends, he, along with his siblings, does his share of household chores. In his free time, he may be found playing his guitar with his campus friends, sharpening his video game skills with his little brother, watching movies with our family, or training our dogs to play fetch.
Emar may be wearing a lot of hats, but for me, the best one that he wears is that of a son’s. My son. He has already proved how immeasurable – hindi matatawaran at tapat – his love for me is. All his other achievements and accolades are mere bonuses.
Finally, because of my son’s selfless and ultimate act of sacrifice, I have become more inspired than I have ever been before to take utmost care of my health. After all, it is no longer just my body that I am supposed to be nurturing now. An essential part of me is also on the line. My son’s kidney.