A 10-year-old boy from Manay, Davao Oriental, has been forced to walk using his two hands.
“Mas mabilis akong nakakapaglakad kapag nakabaligtad (I can walk faster when I use my hands),” Ralph said on “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.”
“Nainggit ako sa mga bata kasi marunong tumakbo, marunong maglakad (I envy other kids who can run and walk).”
According to his family, they didn’t teach him to walk that way but he learned on his own when he was three.
Coming from a poor family made Ralph’s life even more challenging. They would only have sugar for breakfast. It also didn’t help that he had only three fingers in his right hand.
Ralph shared that he wanted to become a lawyer, but he stopped going to school because his classmates kept teasing him.
His mom, Alma, shared that while other children played, Ralph could only watch.
Instead of going to school, Ralph helped out his mom at the cornfield.
Alma said her son had asked her to take him to the doctor, but they didn’t have money.
“Palagi na siya nagtanong sa akin, ‘ma, kung mamamatay na kayo, paano na ako?’ Wala akong magawa,” Alma said.
[He’d always ask me, ‘Ma, who would take care of me when you die?’ It’s not like I can do anything.]
“Siya ’yung pinakamalapit sa aking puso. Parang hindi ko matatanggap kung mawawala sa akin ‘yung aking anak kasi mahal na mahal namin siya. Kahit na napapagod na ako sa pag-alaga sa kanya, hindi ko gusto na mawala siya sa akin.”
[He’s the closest to my heart. We won’t be able to bear it if we lose him. Even if it’s difficult to care for him, I want him to always be on my side.]
When the KMJS team learned of Ralph’s condition, they arranged for Ralph to meet with an orthopedic surgeon via video call.
According to the orthopedic surgeon, Ralph had flexion contracture in the knee, which makes Ralph unable to fully extend his knees.
The doctor said that there was a possibility that Ralph could walk using his own feet. They had operated on a patient with a similar condition. And that child was now able to walk.
Ralph was also brought to a rural health unit so a doctor could personally check on his condition.
The Local Government Unit also awarded Ralph a scholarship.
To encourage Ralph to pursue his dreams of becoming a lawyer, Atty. Jessica Siquijor-Magbanua met with Ralph via video call. She is the current State Solicitor, and is known for her efforts to champion rights of PWDs.
“Hi, Ralph! Pareho raw tayong may kapansanan. Meron akong Spina bifida with clubfeet. Alam n’yo, ‘yung bulk ng success ng bata, I believe, nanggagaling sa magulang. Very blessed ka na nandiyan si Nanay. Maraming salamat sa mga magulang na hindi nawalan ng tiwala sa mga anak nila na may pangarap, katulad namin.”
[I was told that we both had disabilities. I have a problem in my spine. I believe that parents play a big role in the success of their children. You’re blessed to have your mom by your side. To parents who continue to support their child’s dream, thank you.]
In turn, Ralph promised Atty. Jessica Siquijor-Magbanua that he will try his best to fulfill his dreams of becoming a lawyer.
For those who want to help Ralph, please deposit to:
BDO NETWORK BANK
Account number: 040630045119
– Kaela Malig/RC, GMA News