2022 was indeed a very significant year. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic finally came to an end after 2 years of lockdown and our lives began to normalize. For us at Let’s Save the Brain, it was filled with blessings as we launched the year-long celebration of our 10th Anniversary.
CELEBRATIING 10 YEARS
The celebration primarily took the form of a campaign to let more people know about us and our advocacy. This organic marketing strategy via the extensive use of social media would not have been possible without our partnership with The Film Dream. The team, led by Faith and Dan Pascual, developed educational art cards, patient stories, and videos about the Foundation which were posted in our website, FB page and IG, resulting in thousands of “likes” and followers. Having come from ABS-CBN, this team connected us to their colleagues in the industry which led to several radio and TV guestings not just about the Foundation but also about various neurological conditions like stroke, dementia, and the psychological impact of COVID-19.
Energized by the positive response to such initiatives, prominent personalities joined the campaign. Inspired by our advocacy, Robert Labayen of “Star ng Pasko” fame, wrote the lyrics of our theme song: “Together in Love” – which he said he finished in just an hour and a half whereas typically it takes him 2 days to do so. And the multi-talented Direk Alfredo “Doy” Ongleo composed the moving music for this.
Again thru social media, professional and aspiring singers were urged to interpret “Together in Love” via a song cover. Prominent personalities like Jen Roxas, Will Baclao (all the way from Japan!) and Jake Regala submitted videos. Nathan Perez, who lost his mother to a brain aneurysm, dedicated the song “to all the people who generously share their time, resources and talent in helping the indigent neuro patients of UP-PGH”, for he once stood in the shoes of those people who come face to face with the truth of brain illness. Unbeknownst to us, UP Medicine Choir went all the way to Direk Doy’s studio to record the song. So one afternoon a group of us also went to the studio and got to experience what it’s like to be recording artists!
HARNESSING FRIENDSHIPS TO BUILD BRAND
The high point of our campaign initiative was getting Joe Mari Chan to be our Brand Ambassador. I’m sure you all agree that we could not have a better celebrity endorser, what with the wholesome image he projects. Hence, on September 30, we launched JMC as our Brand Ambassador at the Atrium of PGH. It was also then that we unveiled the Plaque of Appreciation for the Rotary Clubs that donated 13 bedside monitors to the department way back in June 2020, and signed the Board Resolution establishing the Alumni Patient Welfare Fund.
As for our Campaign Partners, we now have a total of 15 namely: Medichem, Natrapharm, ABS-CBN News, CNN Philippines, Rappler, Pie Channel, Maxweb, Inc. The Film Dream, SD2 Studios, UPCM’73, UPMASA Pacific Northwest Chapter, The Neurosurgery Outreach Foundation, Hart International, Monte de Tesoro Holdings, Inc., and Zuellig Initiatives Philanthropiques.
On December 12, the UP Medicine Choir held a concert at the PGH Chapel entitled “Nagbabalik ang Himig ng Pasko”. LST Brain was the sole beneficiary and the event raised over P 18,000.
We also had our Christmas Card Fund raiser, which we started in 2021. We launched this on November 28th and in just 2 months we raised P 1,544,047. This includes the P 557,776 Golden Anniversary Gift Donation of UPCM’73 – thanks to the e‑orts of Dr. Ester Bitanga.
So in 2022 we received cash donations totaling P 4,163,881.34 – way above the P 2,875,000 projection of our 2021 Strat Plan.
THE REAL PURPOSE OF OUR WORK
With such blessings, we helped 90 patients in PGH and the survival rate was 94%. The amount of financial assistance extended was Php 1,908,160.
As for our Alumni Patient Welfare Fund, Dr. Lynne Lucena, who heads the Bicol Chapter, had 4 neurosurgical cases and the total assistance we gave was P 140,000.
Memoranda of Agreement have been entered into with Dr. Jona Handumon, who heads the Misamis Occidental Chapter, and with Dr. Cymbeline Perez-Santiago, who heads the Lazatin Stroke Fund for thrombolysis of indigent patients in Makati Medical Center.
We have learned a lot of lessons since we established the Alumni Patient Welfare Fund a little over a year ago. For one, we realize that the situation in the provinces is very, very di‑erent from that in PGH. So we have to modify our guidelines by streamlining these and making them more responsive to the needs there. But even while the guidelines are still being revised, we urge our graduates practicing in the provinces to set up Chapters so our Vision of “Every Filipino [having] access to responsive neurological healthcare” becomes a reality
Before I end, I’d like to thank the Trustees: Drs. Ester Bitanga, Katherine San Diego, Julette Batara, Geraldine Espiritu, Lynne Lucena, Paul Pasco, Leonard Pascual, and Ms. Marianne Quebral who, along with past members of the Board, have worked tirelessly to bring us to where we are now. Thank you as well to PGH Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi, Dr. Carissa Didoquino-Maligaso our Department Chair; Drs. Charmaine Sy-Lukban, Karl Separa, Jane Pascual, and Iris Ditan – our Resident Volunteers; Dr. Lourdes Ledesma, our Executive Director, Miafe Mendoza, our Admin Ocer, Jocy de Guzman, Amy Bamba and Jun Rey Bayawa – our sta‑ vol unteers. And most of all I’d like to thank our generous benefactors and partners without whom we would not be able to provide the neurological care our patients deserve.
Mabuhay ang LST Brain!
Mabuhay tayong lahat because together in love we can make miracles happen!
Stay safe and well
Godfrey T. Robeniol, MD, FPNA
View the full report here: LSTB ANNUAL REPORT 2022