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Daughter’s strength, Mother’s eyes

  • During Kythe Foundation and EON’s event last August, we came across the inspiring story of child beneficiary Coleen Tumala and her mother
  • Coleen is diagnosed with high-risk Leukemia but she continues to be the source of hope of her mother

A mother’s love is never overrated. Whenever we come across a story of a mother’s sacrifice for her children, it will always jerk a tear and touch the soft spot in our hearts. This time, Health and Fitness encountered a courageous tandem between both ill mother Elvie Tumala and daughter Coleen Kaye Tumala.

Coleen, a lively 8-year-old girl suffering high-risk Leukemia, is being accompanied by her 46-year-old mother Elvie, on Kythe Foundation’s event for Filipino children with cancer. The little kid in pink ecstatically joins activities and games prepared for them at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center on Friday.

“Lalabanan na ang bad cancer!” she chanted while holding a stick figure of monstrous cancer cells used during story-telling time.

According to Elvie’s narration, it was in December last year that her daughter showed symptoms of sickness such as lack of will to eat and slimming. A doctor suggested Coleen to undergo chemotherapy but her father, who’s a contractual worker, refused to allow this treatment due to their struggle in financial matters.

Coleen pleaded for her father’s permission because she wanted to live a long life, says Elvie. She sought help from the Department of Health and other agencies to supply for Coleen’s medications. For eight months, her daughter has been responsive to all her treatments and they both remain positive on her recovery.

Elvie has a battle of her own. She’s diagnosed with an eye cataract for two years now and because of Coleen, she temporarily set aside her personal health. Her life for the past year had been centered on her daughter’s sickness.

All three of her other children are either married or away so Elvie became the one in-charge for Coleen. From scheduling check-ups to sending her on treatments, Elvie’s ever-present.

While Coleen seeks strength from her mother, Elvie never worry with her eye problems as the daughter serves as her sight. Their bond keeps them resilient in times of difficulties.

Kythe Foundation was recommended by a doctor to Coleen’s family. Seeing her condition and the parents’ financial capability, the little girl qualified for the Child Life Program. It provides the Tumalas with basic access to medicine and treatment with counselling and bereavement support.

Elvie and Coleen continue to help each other in fighting both their battles to this date. The daughter finds strength in her mother, the latter gets assistance from her courageous child.

Interested volunteers will be accommodated by simply sending an e-mail to [email protected] or sign up on their web site,


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