Sunday, May 09

A simple gift paints a smile to a family

September 07, 2018 | Juvy Ann Radaza

Mark Lawrence Suhayon, 12, is a picture of happiness, sitting on the new wheelchair Tzu Chi Foundation had brought for him.【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi volunteers regularly visit and care for the residents of its temporary housing community for the earthquake-displaced families in Inabanga, Bohol. On September 7, the volunteers brought a special gift for a 12-year-old villager.


More than two years since they settled into their new homes at the Tzu Chi Great Love Village in the municipality of Inabanga, Bohol, victims of the 2013 earthquake continuously receive the love and care of Tzu Chi volunteers.

Every month, they are visited by the volunteers to see how they are faring as well as to hold programs, sharing positive teachings that will guide the families in their daily lives.

During one of these visits on August 25, Tzu Chi volunteers discovered that some residents need special care.

Unlike most 12-year-old boys, Mark Lawrence Suhayon spends his time lying and sitting on bed. He can’t hear nor speak.

 He cannot even control his body movements and the right side of his body was paralyzed. His grandmother Paulina, 79, has to spoon feed him.

His grandparents are all that Mark has. Since his parents abandoned him after finding out he has Cerebral Palsy and Global Developmental Delay when he was 6 months old.

While his Grandma Paulina take care of him, his Grandfather Lazaro, 67, works as a farmer to provide for his grandson’s needs.

However, it is not enough to provide all his needed medicines. 

Still, his grandparents are not giving up on him.

“Mark is a blessing to us. When his parents left him to us, I promised myself that I will give him the love and care that he never got from his parents,” Grandma Paulina said.

Moved by the situation of the family, Tzu Chi volunteers returned on September 7 with a gift for Mark: a wheelchair.

Volunteer Joven Uy said, “We could not bear to see Mark suffering. We want to help ease his situation.”

The wheelchair will change Mark’s routine as well as ease his grandma’s burden. With it, he will be able to go outdoors and see their surroundings, His Grandma Paulina won’t have to carry him every time they have to go somewhere. The family also received a 20-kilo sack of Taiwan rice.                   

“Tzu Chi is here ready to help us. Thank you for listening to our problem. This is a big help to us,” Paulin said.

  • On August 25, Tzu Chi volunteer Joven Uy visited Mark Lawrence Suhayon at the latter’s house inside the Great Love Village. Uy was moved by the situation of the family and arranged to help them. 【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】

  • Since he was 6 months old, Mark Lawrence Suhayon has been under the care of his Grandma Paulina. His Grandpa Lazaro works at the farm to support his needs. 【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】

  • On September 7, Tzu Chi volunteers returned to the Great Love Villlage, bringing a wheelchair for Mark Lawrence Suhayon and a 20-kilo sack of rice for the family. 【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers carry Mark Lawrence Suhayon into his new wheelchair. From now on, he won’t be bound to his bed all day. 【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】

  • Grandma Paulina immediately cooks the rice from Tzu Chi. She also prepares congee for her grandson Mark. 【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】