Surviving cancer through faith and friendship
MANILA, Philippines - Rosalie Llapitan, 39, made her way from Marikina to Luneta believing that she will be cleansed from cancer and continue a normal life with her family after she sees Pope Francis.
In November 2010, Rosalie was diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer. She decided to go through chemotherapy and surgery to prevent the spreading of cancer cells in her body.
However, after 3 years, another tumor was detected in her cervical spine.
Rosalie underwent another painful chemotherapy and continues to take medicine for her condition. She says she still prays and her faith remains strong.
Fighting cancer for 5 years is not easy for Rosalie, especially when she has to be a mother to her two children and help her husband make ends meet. Her family remains her source of strength and motivation to keep fighting cancer.
Coming from a middle class family, they manage to survive despite her high medical expenses, but she believes that it is the "Father in heaven who makes all things possible."
Feeling 'His' presence
When Rosalie heard that Pope Francis is coming to the Philippines, she knew she had to see him and, if she was lucky, touch him. For her, the Holy Father is a conduit of God so people could feel His presence.
“Si Pope Francis ay instrumento para mafeel ang presensiya ni God,” says Rosalie.
(Pope Francis is an instrument for us to feel God’s presence.)
Because she knew it would be difficult for her to join the huge crowd on Sunday, January 18, Rosalie asked her friends to accompany her to Luneta.
In Manila, after hours of standing and walking, she felt dizzy and her back started to hurt.
Despite her condition, Rosalie did not experience difficulty waiting for the Holy Father because of her friends’ care and protection.
She failed to see the Pontiff on her first attempt near Quirino Avenue LRT Station in the morning. Luckily, in the afternoon, her friends brought her to Adriatico Street in Malate where she finally had a glimpse of Pope Francis.
“Ang saya nang pakiramdam ko hindi ko maipaliwanag. Feeling blessed and thankful dahil nakita ko siya, may ibang pakiramdam sa dibdib,” says Rosalie.Recalling that moment, Rosalie said she was overwhelmed with happiness.
(I can’t explain my happiness. I’m feeling blessed and thankful because I saw him.)
Rosalie added she feels even more blessed because of the love she gets from her friends around her who "are sent by God." - Rappler.com