Little Guam girl fighting tumor, family needs financial help

Our Kandit family has been hit with another calamity, and we are asking for your help. Last year, our producer’s (Eric Rosario) sister’s daughter Ariah fell very ill and had to receive treatment in the Philippines after doctors on Guam could not diagnose a condition that caused increasing seizures.

Thanks to the charity of many, and the help of the Guam Medicaid Office, Ariah was able to get treatment and has returned home, though the seizures persist, albeit less frequently and with some managed care.

The day after Typhoon Mawar blasted through Guam, Ariah’s youngest sibling, eight-year-old Kaiah, began turning yellow. She was jaundiced.

The following day her father, Jeff Chargualaf, took her to Guam Regional Medical City, where she was examined before being transferred to Guam Memorial Hospital because of GRMC’s lack of pediatric specialty care.

She stayed at GMH until early Monday morning, when she was discharged and went straight to the airport, where her mother – Eric’s younger sister – took her to San Diego’s Rady’s Children’s Hospital. They arrived and she was admitted yesterday.

While in the hospital on Guam, a battery of tests and MRIs were performed, ruling out several possible diagnoses before doctors discovered a tumor on her pancreas. She was referred for immediate care off island, the fear being that the tumor is threatening her life quickly.

Between the discovery of the tumor last Thursday and her flight Monday, several doctors attending to her and the Guam Medicaid Office (led by Carlos Pangelinan), along with the Ayuda Foundation, United Airlines, the GMH Pediatrics Ward, Guam Radiology Clinic, Philip Flores at BankPacific, the Guam Rotary Club, AK Toyota, the Guam Medical Referral Office, Inarajan Mayor Tony Chargualaf, and Piti Mayor Jesse Alig all rallied to ensure Kaiah, her mother and her father could leave Guam right away to get to San Diego. They both thank everyone involved with this effort.

“We were able to move mountains and get Kaiah and Joleen [her mother] out [Monday],” Dr. Nathaniel Berg said. “So many people helped to make it happen —  it was truly amazing to see everyone help to get her to where she needs to be when she needs to be there.”

There was no planning. Thankfully, the majority of medical expenses likely will be borne by Medicaid. But their other life needs while in San Diego – and they don’t know how long this stay will be – are all unplanned and without their reach.

Kaiah’s aunt began a GoFundMe page for their expenses. We understand these are the toughest times we, as a community, have faced since Pongsona; but, if you’re able to, please donate to help Kaiah and her parents to get through this.

And, please pray for our darling Kaiah. She is the sweetest, funniest, most charming little girl you’ll ever meet. She deserves to live well into old age. She is a blessing of light from God into this dark world.

Kaiah’s mom and dad – Joleen Taitano and Jeff Chargualaf – wish to thank “Dr. Berg, Dr. Shay, Dr. LG, Dr. Agyman, Dr. Y, Nurse Grace, Nurse Ruth, Nurse Kisha, Nurse Marybell, Nurse Rose, Nurse Divine, Nurse Fe, Nurse Charles, ER Charge Nurse Jimmy, ER Charge Nurse Soly. Renee, Michelle, Mrs Quintanilla, Craig Marquez, Art San Agustin. There were many others, and we wish we got their names.”

Here is the link: GoFundMe page for Kaiah

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