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Kindly Chinese couple donates P84k to ailing Filipina, pledges more

13 September 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Elma chats with friends after surgery

A Hong Kong couple has pledged to give an additional cash donation of $16,000 to the family of 39-year-old cancer patient Elma P. dela Cruz, after an initial donation of $13,200 last week.

The couple, who first learned about the ailing former domestic helper from a story in The SUN, promised the additional cash aid to the patient, who is still under intensive care after undergoing surgery two weeks ago.

Mary Alejo, a close friend and townmate of Dela Cruz, told The SUN on Sunday evening that the donors, who want to be known only as Mr and Mrs Au, are also offering to arrange the repatriation of the worker once she is released from hospital.

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The Aus held a video chat with Dela Cruz, her parents and two children in Santiago City, Isabela, as well as Alejo and the couple’s helpers on Saturday.

During the conversation, Mr Au told the patient that he and his wife were going to donate an additional $16,000 to help her rehabilitation. The couple also offered to help arrange the worker’s transportation to her hometown once the hospital releases her.

Alejo and the couple’s driver went to a Western Union outlet on Saturday to remit the initial donation, which amounted to roughly PhP84,000.


The Aus, who reportedly own a business, at first sought how to get in touch with Dela Cruz to pledge a donation of $10,000 after reading her story in The SUN’s website.

Alann Cayosa Mas, a Filipino community leader from Cagayan, relayed the couple’s desire to donate to the ailing Filipina.

At the time, Dela Cruz was in deep sleep due to anesthesia after a brain surgery at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan to take out a malignant tumor in her brain.

Elma's photos before and after she was diagnosed with cancer touched the hearts of the kind couple

Apart from this donation, several kind souls in Hong Kong have sent money through an online fundraiser for Dela Cruz set up by Social Justice for Migrant Workers.


The group’s founder, Marites Palma, says the total donation collected through this campaign has totaled $20,500, after three individuals each sent $1,000 through her recently.

Alejo said she will visit Dela Cruz again during the week as she has obtained leave from her employer to go to the hospital more often to monitor her condition.

In the last medical bulletin on the Filipina sent to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, her attending doctor reportedly said the patient would be moved to the oncology department for further treatment.

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Welfare Officer Virsie Tamayao had asked for an update after the helper was operated on last Friday, Sept. 3.

Dela Cruz had initially decided to return home after being told her breast cancer had spread to her brain, leaving her blind in one eye. She had worked in Hong Kong for three years.

Luckily, two employers who hired her after she finished her first contract, had agreed to keep her in their employ for as long as they were allowed so so she could continue her medical treatment in Hong Kong.

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