Raising Funds for Musician Moises Cabida's Heart Surgery
Organized by: Miguel Jimenez
EVENT DATE Jul 02, 2016
Hi. My name is Elizabeth Cabida. I like keeping to myself but in the past 2 weeks, all I’ve been doing is sharing my story with others. Why? My brother, Moises Cabida is in the hospital, and I want to save his life. He has Rheumatic Heart Disease, and he needs 3 heart valves replaced. He’s had a weak heart since he was 21 years old, and finally had a heart attack at age 35. That was two years ago. He’s been on medication ever since, but recently, it’s gotten worse. It started with his having a hard time breathing. A few weeks ago, he was rushed to the hospital because his legs became too numb to function. They had to operate immediately or his legs would have to be cut off. We thought that would be the end of it, but the doctor strongly advised that he has open heart surgery ASAP. Otherwise, he would die. I am the youngest of 9 children. I grew up in a Christian family. My father, known as “Mang Boy,” has been an overseas worker ever since my siblings were little. He traveled from country to country as a driver or grader operator until he eventually settled down in Bahrain. He would go back to Philippines for a month or so once every few years and my mom would have another child. He was part of the choir and loved to sing. So did my mother, who was known as “Ate Remy”. I can barely remember, but my siblings would tell me that we used to lead Praise and Worship at church. We were a family of music-lovers. My mother and 2 sisters, Kaye and Sharra, were the singers. My 2 other sisters Judith and Ruth were the dancers. My brothers, Noel, Seth, Moises, and Jojo were the band. I was a toddler then, and they said I just held on to my mother’s leg while they were singing. When I was 8 years old, I traveled to Bahrain with my mom. I studied there for a while. My dad was an elder in church, and my mom was an usher. I joined the Praise and Worship ministry as a tambourine dancer. Little did I know that there was a struggle with all my siblings who were left to live back home in the Philippines with no parents to guide them. In my childhood, I watched my mom go in and out of the hospital for her dialysis and slowly lose her health. She went to the Philippines for a kidney operation, but chose not to have it. She was told that the kidney would come from one of her children, and being the kindhearted soul she was, did not want any of her children to make that sacrifice for her. She survived for a year or so through prayers and herbal medication but eventually died in 2003. Being left with my father in Bahrain, I had to go back to Philippines. It was difficult for me to adjust from the comfort of living in Bahrain like an only child and having 8 siblings to get to know in a very different environment. The one person I fully felt secured with, my mother, was gone. I fell into depression and built walls around me. Slowly, my eyes were opened to reality of our life here in Philippines. My brothers and sisters started having their own families while we were back in Bahrain, and they all had separate lives. The family who led the music team at church together was no more. They did what they could to survive. My father stayed in Bahrain until I graduated college. At that time, he also had several complications from illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. After being an overseas worker for more than 20 years, he went back to the Philippines. He died of a stroke in 2012. Because of our family’s medical history, my older brothers and sisters also have heart conditions and cysts. They also have their own kids to feed and send to school. Their income is barely enough to get by. As much as they would like to help my brother Moises, they just don't have the means to do so. And then there’s me. I am now working at an IT company as a web content moderator. I am living alone and independent, striving to build a stable future for myself. Between rent and bills, I live paycheck to paycheck. I am also enrolled in graduate studies for Guidance and Counseling, so I can make a difference in people’s lives one day. When someone is going through too much pain, they are silent. That’s how we are in the family. There’s nothing worse than feeling helpless in your situation, like you can't do anything about it. My brother Moises is a man of few words, but I know this is a time he needs us the most. After our mom left for Bahrain, he spent his time with a band that drifted apart in high school. In college, a band recruited him as their guitarist, but they lost at a Battle of the Bands contest. He was disheartened and did not play an instrument from then on. He married his high school sweetheart, but they have been separated for a few years now. They have 2 kids who lived with my brother, Jared and Iris. He silently worked as a solo parent for them to have a good life. My brother’s love for music was rekindled when Jared, now 12 years old, showed interest in playing the guitar. My brother bought him a guitar and taught him how to play. He also bought a piano and taught some of the neighborhood kids. I saw the light in his eyes sparkling as he played the instruments again, but his heart condition took its toll on him. He had to go in and out of the hospital until he was forced to sell his instruments to pay for medical bills. For years, I have been trying to get over my roller-coaster emotions, and I’ve dealt with my life issues one by one. I sought God and read books written by motivational speakers. I strived to get better and overcome my depression. I finally understood why I kept to myself. I was just too pained with everything around me, and I did not trust people. But what kind of life is it trying to live and face life alone? I was on the path to restoring myself and overcoming depression when I heard the news that my brother was rushed to the hospital. I thought to myself, I can’t do anything about this. I have no money to give. But is there really nothing I can do? I can’t just stand here and do nothing. I can't just watch him die. What about his kids? If he’s gone, who will take care of them? I know what it feels like having no parents, and it hurts so bad to think they could experience this loss so early in their lives as well. I prayed to God to lead me to what I can do for my brother. He led me to humble myself and reach out for help. I have no idea who would help me or if anyone will, but there is always one thing that keeps me going in life. I have faith. I have faith in God, and I am learning to have faith in people. I believe that every person, no matter what they do, has good in them. This is why I choose to believe that my brother will have his heart surgery. I choose to believe that people will help us. I choose to believe that we can get through this. I’m just another face in the crowd, another life. But I am fighting day by day to make a better life for myself. I am fighting day by day to make my parents proud. I am fighting day by day to do what is pleasing in the eyes of God. I am fighting day by day, so I can one day help others who are going through the same things that I am. I am fighting day by day to help my family be restored to what we had before. And it starts with me. It starts with a leap of faith to believe. Thank you to Miguel Jimenez and Erica Tolentino for helping me with this fundraising project.