The Municipality of Guagua in Pampanga has launched Lavender Fight, a patient support group created to help patients and their families cope with the multi-faceted challenges of cancer.
“The creation of Lavender Fight is the culmination of our town’s collective efforts to help cancer patients gain access to medical services, particularly cancer medicines and counseling. We thank Roche Philippines Inc., the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO) , Pampanga Medical Association, Congressman Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo, and all our other partners for their support,” said Hon. Dante D. Torres, Mayor of the Municipality of Guagua, Pampanga.
Ms. Baul explained that Lavender Fight aims to raise awareness on cancer; identify and address patient needs; provide information, emotional support and socialization; offer counseling and group sharing sessions during active treatment and survivorship care; and encourage the community and partner stakeholders to volunteer their time in providing support to cancer patients and their families.
“Fighting cancer alone is not easy,” said Ms. Elaine Baul, a cancer survivor, and a Focal Person of Lavender Fight. “Depression and anger are the primary emotions, one feels after being diagnosed with cancer. The disease will cause major upheaval in the patient’s life and also in their family. Having a support group will help patients and their families cope with the emotional and psychological burden of cancer.”
“Helping patients and their families is an advocacy that is close to my heart,” said Rep. Juan Miguel Macapagal Arroyo. “We need to support cancer survivors as well as the families of those that unfortunately do not survive. Government resources for healthcare are limited, so the private sector must step in to help.”
“Holistic oncology treats the patient as a whole—mind, body and spirit—by combining conventional and complementary therapies,” said PSMO member Dr. Elaine Ilagan- Cargullo. Conventional therapies include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy, while complementary therapies include acupuncture, healthy and balanced diet, and massage therapy, she explained.
“Cancer imposes a heavy physical, emotional, and financial burden on patients, their families, their friends, and their community. Through Lavender Fight, Roche and our partners pledge our support to patients in their fight against cancer,” said Dr. Diana M. Edralin, Country Medical Director, Roche (Philippines), Inc.