Friday, April 4, 2008

a pinoy migrants tale

eto ang magpapapintig ng inyong mga puso, its a pinoy migrant's plight as reported in the herald yesterday (its not about a whining migrant- tulad ng iba dyan hehehehe).

Cancer victim Roderick Catuday couldn't hide his elation when the Herald broke the news to him that he had got the work permit he wanted - which qualifies him for the treatment he needs at Auckland City Hospital.

"I can't believe it," said the 42-year-old, who had just returned from a four-day hospital stay for a blood transfusion. "I have been praying so hard for this and I really thank God and all the people who have made it possible."

A spokesperson for the Department of Labour, which oversees Immigration, confirmed to the Herald yesterday that Mr Catuday had been granted a two-year work permit, which qualifies him for publicly funded chemotherapy.

Mr Catuday was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia while waiting for his work permit - which he qualified for - to be approved by Immigration New Zealand.

Doctors told him that without treatment, he would have only months to live.

But an email from his doctor to the authorities asking them to speed up the process because of the cancer backfired, and his application was rejected.

Since the Weekend Herald reported his plight, donors have contributed about $40,000 to help him get treated - but it was still not enough to meet the $150,000 he needed as a deposit for Auckland City Hospital.

Only people with at least a two-year work permit, other than New Zealand and Australian citizens or residents, qualify for public health funding. (take note of this for future reference -kiwi.pino)

Mr Catuday said he had been spending his time in hospital writing a letter, which he has yet to complete, thanking everyone who has been helping him and his family during this difficult time, and had planned for the letter to be read "if something happened" to him.

"This is the best news I have had, and my next step is to go to the Auckland hospital to see when I can get my treatment started," he said.

Mr Catuday is the father to three children aged between 12 and 15 and is married to Emelita, 41, an accountant. The family came to New Zealand from the Philippines last September.

Social worker Agnes Granada, of the Migrant Action Trust, who is providing support for the Catuday family, could also hardly contain her joy when she rang the Herald with the news of Immigration New Zealand's decision yesterday.

"This is not just good news for the Catudays, but also good news for the whole Filipino community," Ms Granada said.

"I am really so happy and don't know how to thank everyone who has been helping the family."

read the previous newspaper article here.

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