There's now a reason for 6-year-old Aldrin Aunzo Meñano, Jr. to smile. He was born with multiple deformities. Aldrin Jr., whose hails from Agusan del Sur, was diagnosed with bilateral facial cleft, cleft palate and clubfoot deformity.
Through the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, in coordination with the People’s Government Mobile Action (PGMA)- Serbisyo Muna medical team, he was given a new lease on life.
Aldrin’s father is a local farmer who tills a small lot to sustain the family’s daily food needs. Due to financial difficulties, his parents could not afford to spend for his medical and surgical needs.
That's why PGMA - Serbisyo Muna team, which includes the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), among others, came to help this kid.
Aldrin and his mother, Miraluna, were brought to Metro Manila to have Aldrin’s condition checked and assessed. Their transportation expenses were shouldered by the local government of Agusan del Sur. Miraluna and Aldrin stayed at the CHILD House inside the PCSO compound during the whole time Aldrin was seeking treatment.
The generous Dr. Hector Santos, Jr., a volunteer surgeon of the Philippine Band of Mercy (PBM), was the one who operated to repair Aldrin’s facial clefts on July 16, 2008 at the St. Martin de Porres Charity Hospital. Aldrin is scheduled to have palatoplasty to correct his cleft palate within the year and to eventually have his foot operated.
Today, Aldrin is in high spirits, plays with the doctors and nurses of the PCSO Charity Clinic during one of his visits at the Agency and even mimics a pose of his boxing idol Manny Pacquiao in front of the camera, which brought big smiles to everyone in the room with him.