BENEFITING: THOMAS G LABRECQUE FOUNDATION
EVENT: 2014 11th Annual Run As One
EVENT DATE: Apr 27, 2014
Ailleen Manansala wrote -
After a short but hard fight, my dad, Enrique Manansala ("Papa" as everyone knew him best) died of Lung Adenocarcinoma on 11 April 2012. We rushed him to an ER the morning of 21 January 2012, for what we thought was pneumonia, but a week later he was diagnosed with advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
We were sure he would be one of the lucky ones. One of the few who would live to tell about their battle and triumph over "the Big C"-- I mean, there was a treatment in the form of a pill, our insurance paid for it and if anyone deserved another chance it was my dad--but it was just caught too late.
Almost 2 years after his passing, after almost 2 years of reaching in my memory trying to think of any signs I may have missed and after almost 2 years of trying to answer "Why him?", I have come to accept that I don't have the answers--no one does yet!
More than 60% of people newly diagnosed with lung cancer each year have never smoked or have quit smoking. Never smoked: 10-15% of new lung cancer cases Quit smoking: 50% of new lung cancer cases. Over 50% of new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed at a very late stage, like Papa, and only 5% of them will live for 5 years! This could be prevented if early detection tools were available.
So on 27 April 2014, I'm asking family and friends to 'Run As One' (sign up for the race or walk on nyrr.org or tglclassic.com), with thousands of others, to raise money to support lung cancer research and awareness. Run, walk, join the team and/or donate to remember Papa and so that others may live to tell about their battle and triumph over "the Big [NSCL]C".
For those of you who didn't get a chance to meet Papa, here's a story from my brother and his words about who Papa was:
At work, as part of a team building exercise, I was asked to list my heroes on a poster board that would hang in our office. My list was short. I wrote the word DAD in bold letters and below it "he taught me how to be a man, a husband and a father." My supervisor would refer back to what I wrote from time to time because he didn’t have a good relationship with his father. One day I remember him saying, "I never met your dad but I can tell from the way you are, that he is a great man".
He worked hard his whole life right up to his retirement. He worked to put himself through school eventually becoming a mechanical engineer, his trade throughout his career. In his personal life, he liked to fix things, make furniture, go shopping, watch old western movies and Discovery channel. He liked to dance, sometimes to his own beat, but he looked good doing it.
Through his words, but mainly through his actions, he showed exactly how much he loved and adored my mom. They were always at each others' side and grew closer through their faith as active members of Couples for Christ.
Growing up, I know there were times when my sister and I gave him a hard time, but he always remained patient and was the source of our family’s stability. He never let us feel when times were hard and most of all never let us down.
There is a reason why everyone called him "Papa"-- not because he was the oldest, and not because that’s what my mom, sister and I called him-- but because he was a father figure to everyone. He was a man of few words but when he spoke it was full of wisdom and kindness. And he would tirelessly go out of his way to support whoever was in need.
I cannot express how grateful I am for all the lessons he taught me-- most of which he probably didn’t know he was passing on just by being himself. The man, husband and father we have come to love.