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  • Anthony Taberna Heartbroken For Daughter With Leukemia: ‘Akala Ko Malakas Ako. Marupok Pala’

    His daughter has been fighting the disease for a year now.
    by Kitty Elicay .
  • In an emotional post, former ABS-CBN anchor Anthony Taberna revealed that his eldest child, Zoey, is battling leukemia and recently lost her hair due to chemotherapy.

    On Wednesday, December 2, the dad of two shared a photo of the 12-year-old who had her hair shaved for her treatment.

    “Hindi ko akalain na papaya si Zoey na ipakita sa madla ang larawan na ito. Nakangiti siya pero alam kong durog na durog ang puso niya nung nag-umpisang malagas ang kanyang buhok dahil sa chemotherapy,” Anthony wrote on Facebook.

    “Nung pumayag si Zoey na magpakalbo at nalaman kong papunta na sa ospital ang misis ko kasama si Ate Tet, umalis na muna ako,” he says.

    The dad of two admitted that he could not help but cry after seeing a video where all of Zoey’s hair was shaved. “Akala ko ay malakas na ako. Marupok pala,” he writes. “May video habang kinakalbo si Zoey. At tuwing makikita ko iyon, hindi ko mapigil ang pagpatak ng aking luha.”

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    Despite the situation they are facing, Anthony cannot help but be in awe of how brave her daughter has been throughout the ordeal. It was her daughter who first posted a photo of her shaved head on her Instagram account.

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    “Ang wala o maikling buhok ang isa sa dahilan ng insecurity ni Zoey. Pero nung makita kong ipinost niya, nagpaalam ako na ipo-post ko rin. Hanga ako sa tapang ng aming panganay,” the dad said.

    Battling leukemia for one year

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    In separate posts, Anthony and Zoey revealed that it has been a year since they found out that Zoey has leukemia.

    “Eksaktong isang taon na pala mula nung subukin ang aking pamilya ng isang karanasang hindi namin makakaya kung kami lamang. Bandang alas dos ng madaling araw, ginising ako ni Zoey na umiiyak dahil napakasakit daw ng kaniyang mga binti hanggang sa kaniyang hita,” Anthony wrote.

    Doctors first thought there was a problem with Zoey’s bones, but after multiple tests, she was diagnosed with bone marrow disease. It ended with being diagnosed with leukemia.

    “I was very scared. The word ‘leukemia’ itself made me so afraid. Especially since I had to undergo chemotherapy,” Zoey wrote on her Instagram account.

    She adds, “I needed to chop off all my hair. And that made me very insecure and sad all the time.”

    Thanks to her doctors, family, and friends who rallied behind her, Zoey was able to find the strength to fight the disease. “I really thought my life would already end there. but no. I stayed strong and did my best,” she wrote.

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    According to Anthony, it felt like the world was ending when he and his wife first heard the news. They were especially worried because Zoey was just 11 years old, then. 

    But the couple never stopped praying for Zoey’s healing. “Walang tigil ang aming pananalangin, kahit gusto sana naming ikubli sa aming anak ang pagluha upang ipakita sa kaniya na kami’y matapang at malakas subalit tuwing kami’y dudulog sa Diyos ay hindi maiwasan na kami’y tumangis,” Anthony wrote.

    “Ang pangunahing laman ng aming mga pagdaing — alisin ang kirot at hapdi at kung puwede ay ako na lamang bilang ama ang magdanas para sa aming anak.

    “Oo nga at may magaling na doktor, oo nga at merong mga gamot at pasilidad subalit lahat ay walang halaga kung hindi ipapahintulot ng Diyos na si Zoey ay gumaling,” he says.

    A year later, Zoey is doing much better and is on her way to recovery. Anthony says the ordeal made him realize how short life is and to cherish every moment.

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    “Isang taon mula nang gisingin niya ako noong December 2 ng madaling araw, gising na gising ang aking kamalayan kung gaano kahalaga ang buhay ng tao subalit sa isang iglap ay andyan lagi ang takot na maaaring mawala ito."

    “Salamat sayo, Anak... Zoey... inspirasyon ka namin dahil sa yong katapangan at lakas. Wag kang mag-alala, maganda ka pa rin! Mahal na mahal ka namin ng Mommy mo at ni Helga,” Anthony wrote.

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