June 23, 2024

Achieving Dreams in the Philippines

Two weeks ago we told the story of a mother in Madagascar with two boys with hemophilia, and the challenges she faces. This week we look at what happens with assistance, when those challenges are met head on with help from the national hemophilia organization with international help. Meet Reinniel and be inspired!

Breaking Barriers, Achieving Dreams 

by France S. Alviz June 14, 2024 

“My disability doesn’t define me, it refined me.”— Reinniel John Cruz

“He won’t be able to graduate because he has hemophilia. He can’t achieve anything with his condition.” These words can leave a lasting impact. Such phrases can deeply affect individuals, dimming their hopes and aspirations for a brighter future. 

Fortunately, Reinniel John Cruz transformed these words into the motivation he needed to excel in his studies. However, this fierce determination and commitment did not come easily to Reinniel. 

Living with severe Hemophilia A in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines, Reinniel recalled the numerous instances when he felt like giving up on his education due to the challenges posed by his bleeding disorder. 

As the fourth child among ten siblings, Reinniel was brought up by his widowed mother alongside his two brothers also affected by hemophilia. However, the challenges increased when his diabetic mother experienced a mild stroke. Seeing his primary carer, whom he relied on heavily, suffering took a toll on him causing him to falter. He also faced another setback when he had to pause his studies during the pandemic, pushing him further into desolation and hopelessness. 

When all things seem to have fallen apart, Reinniel reignited his hopes and dreams after a conversation with one of the people he looks up to – Kay Ferrer, HAP’s Vice President, who also has a son with a bleeding disorder. 

Asked with a simple question, “Would you like to get back to school and continue your studies?” Reinniel grabbed the opportunity to prove that his ability is stronger than his disability. 

Through the years of financial assistance from Save One Life and the scholarship granted by his Kay to cover his tuition fees, Reinniel finally completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology in June 2024. 

In a heartfelt facebook post, he shared graduation pictures along with a message of gratitude to all who stood by him during his journey. 

He gave special thanks to his siblings for their hard work to support his dream, to Roy Luis De Guzman, HAP NE’s chapter leader, for aiding him with the necessary medical care, and the rest of their chapter for the guidance and encouragement.

He also expressed deep appreciation for his mentor and companion throughout his hemophilia journey – Jeff Rodriguez, who inspired him and his siblings to strive and conquer challenges despite having a life-long condition like hemophilia. Reinniel extended his immense thanks to HAP President, his Andrea Trinidad, for going above and beyond in empowering him and the rest of the hemophilia community. He valued the guidance and learnings they’ve imparted, enabling him to become self-reliant.

To his fellow hemos, Reinniel leaves them with an encouragement: “Having a disability should not limit us from pursuing our dreams. The suffering we experience now due to hemophilia, let’s use that as motivation to excel in our studies and reach our goals. There are people who have it worse than us. If they can do it, so can we.”

Despite the hurtful words from people who only saw his limitations, Reinniel responded with hope and resilience, leveraging what he has– the support of a community that lifts and empowers one another so they can rise above life’s challenges.

You too can help a person with hemophilia earn a degree and reach their dreams. Click here to DONATE OR SPONSOR a student today.

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Room 313 Anita Building Quezon Avenue corner Timog Avenue Diliman, Quezon City 1101 Philippines 

Landline: (63) 02- 82984737 Mobile: 0917 640 1371 info@hemophilia.ph 

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