Borne from this verse, EPCALM Adult Leukemia Foundation of the Philippines was founded and established in 2005 by Dr. Erlyn Cabanag-Demerre, after his brother, Atty. Erwin Piedad Cabanag succumbed to leukemia in May of that year.
A simple SMS from a consoling friend bearing this verse, directed Dr. Demerre’s grief over the loss of her brother to a sense of purpose – a Godly vision that made her understand that Erwin’s passing away was not at all a loss, but a gain for mankind, particularly for the Filipinos who are afflicted with leukemia and their families.
Indeed, the single seed that fell to the ground and died in May 12, 2005, have produced way many more seeds throughout the nine years of EPCALM’s efforts of being the vehicle through which patients afflicted with leukemia experience God’s love and faithfulness. The Foundation has grown to be a band wagon of families of patients, friends of friends, corporations, institutions and concerned citizens from all walks of life, with varying gifts, talents, expertise and resources to share, who have joined in and bonded together as a group and become what is now, Friends of EPCALM – a group of helping hands.
This group of helping hands gathered together last November 22 for the first official Thanksgiving Fellowship of Friends of EPCALM at Bonaventure Building, Greenhills, which is the headquarters of LRI-Therapharma, one of the pioneering partners of the Foundation and one of the many seeds produced from the fallen kernel of wheat.
It was a busy morning for every pair of helping hand that came to participate, each pair being in constant motion – be it clasped together in prayer; extended for a handshake; outstretched for a hug; clutched to a microphone; opened to receive a token of appreciation; waved up in acknowledgement; or put together in an applause, the loudest of which always came after every song rendered by the Chorus Medicus, a choir of resident physicians and medical students, who have also stepped up and be counted as the seeds that serve as channels of the Lord’s Healing Music.
The busiest time for all pairs of hands came during the culminating activity of the fellowship – the Potluck Thanksgiving Feast, an epitome of the core spirit of Filipinos as a nation – the Bayanihan Spirit, which EPCALM embraced and rekindled through the helping hands of the Friends of EPCALM, to help enable patients and their families journey to wholeness.
Each and every pair of hand that day had a story to tell on how the Lord tugged and led them to be a part ofFriends of EPCALM. Every tug, every leading was personalized and custom-fit to the life behind each pair of helping hand and we are all in awe on how our Almighty Father has been faithfully sending hands after hands to EPCALM. Being the Master Weaver that He is, the Lord has been intertwining these hands and weaving the lives behind each pair into the Masterpiece, which we believe is yet to unfold.
Science has established that there is strength in numbers, and indeed, the Foundation has grown in strength as a servicing organization since its birth in 2005. But more importantly for EPCALM, is the significance behind its growth – that the Lord has been heard and heeded upon by more and more persons, with each one having a personal walk with Him, for and in the continuance of His Kingdom Project here on earth.