DAVAO CITY — A fully improved halfway house for pediatric cancer patients is now ready to serve those who seek treatment from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City.
Constructed with the support of Ayala Corporation and under the supervision of Ayala Foundation, the facility is called House of Hope, which provides temporary lodging for young patients who are seeking treatment at the world-class SPMC Cancer Institute.
Over 200 pediatric cancer cases are brought to the SPMC Cancer Institute every year. While many of these patients come from Davao City and other parts of Mindanao, the Cancer Institute also now sees patients from as far as the Central Visayas and Bicol regions. Given the increasing number of non-Mindanao patients who are accessing the institute’s facilities, the halfway house provides a safe space for children being prepared for medical or surgical treatment, and for those who need a place to stay during chemotherapy.
The facility features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a common area, and a play area. There will also be three offices within the premises.
The new House of Hope was formally inaugurated on November 29, with Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan, together with officials from the City Government of Davao and SPMC officials.
“It is a privilege for the Ayala group to work with the SPMC Cancer Institute in providing a space for healing and recovery for young patients,” said Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala president and chief operating officer. “With this gift, we would like to show young cancer patients and their families that there is always hope, and that our country has excellent medical professionals who can aid in their treatment and recovery.”
“We at the Ayala group are grateful for all the partners who made this project possible,” said Maranan, who is also a managing director at Ayala Corporation. “To the City of Davao, as well as the Southern Philippine Medical Center, thank you for trusting us with this project. We hope that this gift will benefit a great number of patients.”
Dr. Mae Dolendo of the SPMC Cancer Institute said: “We are inspired by the generosity of Ayala in undertaking the near total rehabilitation of House of Hope. This transient home for children with cancer was first renovated 12 years ago from a several decades’ old dilapidated dorm by the Rotary Club of Waling-Waling Davao. It has served hundreds of children and their carers over the years. We hope that through Ayala Foundation’s gift to the children of Davao City and Mindanao, House of Hope will serve several hundreds more children in the next fifty years.”
Other Ayala units also came together in support of the project. The Ayala Business Club of Davao—which is an organization composed of representatives from the different Ayala businesses in the city—mobilized Ayala volunteers for storytelling and gift-giving sessions with the young patients of the SPMC Cancer Institute.
The Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative also facilitated the donation of a toy library for use of the patients.
Aside from constructing the House of Hope, Ayala also donated a 810nm diode laser used in managing specific eye cancers. This state-of-the-art equipment was turned over to the hospital last year, and has already served many patients this year.