Maggie Asuncion: Serenely Surviving the Threat of Cancer through Christian Faith

Maggie Asuncion: Serenely Surviving the

Threat of Cancer through Christian Faith

By Apolinario Villalobos

It takes much courage before a person who is threatened by cancer can accept his or her fate. Initially, disbelief sets in, followed by denial. And, this is despite the factual medical findings, yet. But what happened to Maggie Asuncion is different. With all her heart and mind, she accepted her fate but also went through a “compromise” offered by the modern medical technology. She underwent a mastectomy, a gamble on her part, in the year 2000, as during the time, stories about immediate failure of operation were prevalent.  The operation was followed by 6 months of chemotherapy, and 5 years of oral medication.

Maggie grew up in a Christian home that molded her personality according to her family’s strong faith. With a strong Christian foundation, she developed a steely personality that enabled her to face any kind of challenge in life. The worry that dawned on her when she was told about the growth of cancerous cyst in her breast did not last long. She did not suffer even just a bit from stigma, even after her operation. She went on with her life as if nothing has been taken from her body.

The more than five years of observation period during which she underwent rigorous medication, was patiently endured while participating in community outreach projects together with her supportive husband, Gene. The projects involved feeding of street children, clean-up drives, and random acts of charity, with the last, they did on their own. The projects served as an effective therapy, as she has practically forgotten about herself while spending her time with the less fortunate.

Their advocacy has in time, become an integral part of their life that today, every time they go out of their home, they would see to it that they have with them goodies for street children whom they might encounter along the way. They humbly admit that these are small tokens, though heartily given – things that they can afford.

Today, Maggie is a picture of serenity and dynamism, despite her age which is beyond sixty. If not with religious groups that undertake feeding programs for street children or with environmentalist groups doing clean- ups of Manila Bay, she bakes cake and prepares salads for the family. A time is also inserted in their schedule for visits to a bed-ridden friend. Every time there is an opportunity, she also gives testimonies in assemblies, assuring victims of the big C, that there is life after its riddance by operation, but with a reminder that the patient must do his or her share by following  a disciplined way of life…plus, of course, strong faith in Him.

Maggie and Gene are blessed with four daughters, Gemma Lee A. Namit (38), Gracious Melody A. Torrijos (37), Genette Mae A. Shuler (34), and Geneve Maude N. Asuncion (26). Their only twenty day-old grandson, Gavril Matteo, unfortunately died of congenital heart disease.

Maggie showed that it pays by just leaving everything to God by virtue of strong faith….that praying should not always be for asking worldly blessings.

Hindi Matawarang Pagmamahalan…nina Gene at Maggie (Asuncion)

Hindi Matawarang Pagmamahalan
…nina Gene at Maggie (Asuncion)
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Puno ng bantulot at alinlangan ang mga araw ng ligawan
Napapalitan naman ng abot-langit na saya kung “oo” ang kasagutan
Ang iba’y gumugol ng mga taon sa panunuyo
Mayroon namang inabot lang ng ilang linggo!

Iba ang ligawang hindi minadali, bagkus ay pinagtiyagaan –
Hindi malasado, hindi malabsa, tama lang, dahil ito ay pinaghirapan
Ganyan ang magsing-irog, sina Gene at Maggie-
Ilang dekadang pagmamahalan nila’y tumitindi!

Nagkaalaman ng gusto kaya’t nagbibigayan sila sa isa’t isa
Ano pa nga ba’t kahit sa pagkain, hindi sila nagkaroon ng problema
Hindi tulad ng ibang mag-asawa na nagkahiwalay
Dahil si babae, sa pagsaing lang ay walang malay!

Napatunayan nilang dalawang mahalaga sa buhay ang Diyos
Kaya’t walang paglibang ginagawa sa pagsamba, pilit nilang iniraraos
At kahit ang Christian fellowhip ay sa malayong dako
Pilit pa ring pinupuntahan, sa del Pan, doon sa Tondo!

Hindi nakakalimot makibahagi ng mga natamo nilang biyaya
Dahil sa anumang paraang abot- kaya nila ay talagang pilit ginagawa
Pagkain man, damit o kung anong bagay, pati mga libro
Inaabot sa mga nangangailangan, taos sa kanilang puso!

Dahil ang pagmamahal sa Diyos at sa kapwa ay nasa puso nila
Pinaigting nito ang pagmamahal na nahinog ng panahon para sa isa’t isa
Hindi matawarang pagmamahalan ay naipagmamalaki
Silbing inspirasyon ng iba upang makamit ang minimithi!