GMCAC holds second year of airport tour for children with cancer
MACTAN, CEBU – In its effort to “make a difference” beyond airport operations, GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) along with the Cebu Cancer Institute conducted last April 21 the second year of the Dream Starters Tour for the 40 pediatric patients of Kythe Foundation Cebu.
These children with cancer accompanied by their parents and guardians including volunteers of Kythe Foundation were treated to a tour around Mactan- Cebu International Airport including a visit inside an Airbus320 aircraft courtesy of Cebu Pacific.
Shalom Rea Bernales, Perpetual Succour Hospital – Cebu Cancer Institute Child Life Coordinator ( Visayas and Mindanao Hospitals) shared that 70 percent of the pediatric patients who participated during this year’s airport tour were those newly diagnosed with cancer.
“Unfortunately, some of those who came over for the tour last year were on their final stage of cancer and are unable to come for the second time. Yet, we are grateful for GMCAC for yet again another memorable Dream Starters experience these children have because for most of them, it is their first time to set foot inside an airport and be inside an aircraft,” Bernales said.
Apart from the airport and aircraft tours, the children made art designs showing what they aspire to be when they grew up. Others drew themselves as pilots and stewardess.
"I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 5. Now I am 10 years old and I want to be a stewardess,” shared Faith Badacus.
Despite her cancer illness, Badacus is described by her mother as being “energetic and always happy.”
“Seeing these children brave their own storm with so much hope brings a different meaning to our Dream Starter program,” said GMCAC President Louie Ferrer.
Dream Starters is a program under the CSR portfolio of GMCAC. It is a monthly airport tour targeted for school children around the Mactan Cebu Airport Community with the objective of sparking dreams to young minds.
“It is our hope that within the 25-year concession agreement, some of these children could come and join us. We hope that the Dream Starters program will encourage them to aspire and do well in school so that one day they would be able to come and work at the airport whilst at this moment they just see airplanes,” added Estee Marie Plunket, GMCAC Head of Corporate Affairs.
Andrew Harrison, GMCAC Chief Executive Adviser noted, “The management team and the organization of GMCAC holds high the value of CSR and the participation and contribution that we make to the surrounding communities. We do this through several interventions, which include livelihood development, caring for the community, and the development of a school program because education is the cornerstone of ever y economic foundation and the success of its people.”
GMCAC, in participation with Jollibee and Cebu Pacific, has chosen to partner with Kythe Foundation for last month’s Dream Starters tour since the month of April is recognized as the “Cancer in Children Awareness Month.”
Pediatric patients of Kythe Foundation along with their parents were treated to an airport tour around Mactan-Cebu International Airport under GMCAC's Dream Starters program