Fifteen-year-old Cliford Jay Manatad and his mother Corazon came to Manila in June of 2013 to seek medical attention in AFP Medical Center. Diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Cliford underwent the amputation of his right arm and several cycles of chemotherapy. Cliford and Corazon spent their time in the Transient Home within the AFP compound.
Cliford was admitted to the ICU last May to June for a relapse. Upon learning that cure was not possible this time, Cliford asked that he be able to go home to Polomolok, South Cotabato, to return to his family and spend his time with them in peace and comfort.
Last June 27, Cliford and Corazon were brought to the Terminal 2 airport by an AFPMC ambulance and medical team, escorted by resident Dr. Cheryll Maghirang. Dr. Marjorie Liwanag accompanied the two on their plane ride to General Santos International Airport in the morning. OCPGA provided another ambulance with oxygen, and Cliford and Corazon safely arrived in their home in Purok Manatad.
Corazon relayed to Kythe that Cliford passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.
Kythe extends its full gratitude to all who made Cliford’s journey possible: the AFPMC medical team; Dr. Maghirang and Dr. Liwanag; Ms. Tricia Peñaflorida of the Xavier Parents Auxiliary; Ms. Rose Santos; and Kai Rivera, Dr. Angie Sievert-Fernandez, and Ninin Sumpaico-Jose of Kythe’s Child Life team.
Cliford is ultimately memorialized as a beloved kuya figure among his fellow Kythe kids and the volunteers. He loved to sing, swim, play pool, and best of all, bring together all the friends that he’d quickly make. He won the “Most Promising Camper” award during Kythe’s Summer Camp in 2014 and “Camper of the Year” this year.
His presence is deeply missed, and he will continue to inspire the members of the Kythe community in healing through simple sharing and togetherness.