Yesterday's visit to the cemetery wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. Maybe because 3 years had already passed since Nate left. People still ask what happened every time they pass us by. They still feel bad that such a young and beautiful angel left. I no longer feel bad. I probably got used to it too. Do you remember we had that World Heart Day Celebration at the Oupost last month? I was supposed to be the last sharer of story but we ran out of time. I remembered I promised a friend to write about it on my blog. So here it is,
Zackery Mc Nathan Alvarado. His names means "God's gift". Like any other gift, you just have to take them with open hands. You can't demand. He was given to us with mutiple congenital defects. One is his kidney and the other his heart.
We were asked to raise 3 million for his 3 surgeries. All of which needed to be done before he turns one. Miraculously, we did. We were also raising funds and everyone was involved. Like any other open heart surgery, it's always a 50-50 risk. My baby did not survive his 3rd surgery and it was for his heart. Did I regret having had that surgery? No, because like any other parent, we only want the best for our child. Having taht surgery was his best chance.
People ask me why we're doing this, helping other children find their fix, and ask us if it hurts. My response? I tell them 2 of my favorites stories
1st Story: When we were raising funds, 100pesos for Nate's heart, money kept coming in all over the world. When we asked the teller where they're all coming from, they say from Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, Manila, US. And people do come and deposit 100peso. When I ask them if it was done online, they said it was via a Teller... and that touched me. Imagine someone going through the hassle of getting a priority number, waiting for his turn just to deposit Php100? That's amazing! It's amazing how my baby's story touched them and moved them enough to do it.
2nd story: On the eve of surgery day, we were campaigning in Facebook if they know anyone in Manila willing to be live donor of blood. My friends started sharing my posts and their friends shared their post until it reached a generous heart. This stranger responded to our message and called us. He flew to Manila from Cebu with only a few-hour notice in response to our request to be a live donor. He didn't ask for anything He didn't even let us pay his fair. That moved me. That gesture touched the core of my being.
I am here well enough to talk about my baby's story freely and strongly because of YOU. YOU made me strong. This is me paying it forward because that's what we do... we pay it forward.
Mind you, talking about it had very good after effects too. My baby's story inspired the story of Maven and stories of many others. In Let It Echo, we found a family. This is a family of supporters and our family of strong foundation.
Talking about by baby Nate makes him feel so alive. His is a story of miracles, of new found friendship, of humanity.
This is my story. This is my echo. I hope you will be a part of the stories, Lawas and Caral kids, knocking your hearts tonight too.