Early holiday gifts for caregivers, cancer survivors


Participants pose for a group photo along with the event’s program manager Juan L. Babauta, far left, during the Commonwealth Cancer Association’s monthly support meeting held in Hyatt Regency Saipan in
Garapan on Dec. 22. (Michael T. Santos)

Caregivers and cancer survivors were treated to early Christmas presents during the Commonwealth Cancer Association’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.

The event, scheduled from 5:30pm to 8pm at the Hyatt’s Chamolinian Room, was just one of the many services the CCA offers throughout the year. Guests were treated to free refreshments and raffle prizes in celebration of the holiday season.

CCA is a community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting cancer awareness and prevention, providing patient support services, and serving as the liaison and advocate for cancer issues in the Commonwealth and the region.

The CCA was first established on 2002. Its programs are supported by corporations, families, and individuals.

“Cancer is a terrible thing. With all the worrying and depression, this meeting helps everyone come together and focus on how to move on with their lives as happily as possible,” said Juan L. Babauta, CCA program manager.

Maria Taitano Salinas, a cancer survivor said, “I didn’t realize there were this many cancer survivors on island until I joined this meeting. It’s so nice to have people around that fully understand what you’re going through, it makes you want to open up.”

Salinas is a breast cancer survivor for 23 years now.

“It was a really terrible experience but that’s all over now. All I want to do is enjoy my life as much as possible with the people I care about, “ Salinas said.

The monthly meetings are all possible through contributions from the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program as well as the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. All gifts at the event were made possible thanks to the Legislature and other organizations.

“We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation, on behalf of CCA, to all businesses [donors] for the great donations prizes/gifts to the survivors and caregivers,” Babauta said.

Michael T. Santos | Reporter

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