British Lawyer Plans to Go Bald to Raise Funds for Filipina Helper’s Cancer-stricken Son

Singapore-based British lawyer corporate lawyer Isabelle Claisse plans to shave her head on January 13, 2016 to raise funds for her Filipina domestic helper’s cancer-stricken son.

Mariza Cañete had been with the family for over 6 years. She says that Isabelle treats her more like a sister than a household help.

Now, Isabelle and her family had met 10-year-old Dave Caba, the son of their helper, when she invited him and his other siblings to spend 3 weeks in Singapore to enjoy Christmas back in 2014.

Last October, Dave was diagnosed with bone cancer. Like many Filipinos, he does not have health insurance; thus, Mariza is having a very difficult time finding funds for her son’s treatment. Taking pity on their helper’s plight, the Claisse family decided to step in and help in any way they could.

Photo credit: Mariza Cañete/The Straits Times

Photo credit: Mariza Cañete/The Straits Times

To raise awareness and money for the cancer-stricken boy, not only did Isabelle launch a crowd funding campaign on where they have raised over $6,500 (P305,000) so far, she and some friends are also doing other fundraising events, including shaving their heads.

Considering that she’s a lady and working in the corporate setting, it would surely be difficult for her to go bald yet Isabelle is willing to do anything to help make sure Dave will survive. The child has already undergone blood transfusions and three chemotherapy sessions – and more are scheduled in the near future!

Still, for Dave to have better chances of survival, the tumor on his shin bone has to be removed and replaced with an implant. This is very costly and only improves his chances of survival by 80% but without this, Dave could die.

If the fundraiser options will not be enough to raise their target sum of US$100,000, the Claisses are willing to shell out the remaining sum – even if might mean taking on debt themselves!

Many people are telling Isabelle and her husband that they are “crazy” for going to great lengths to help their Filipina domestic helper – she’s not related to them by blood, anyway. But for Isabelle, blood relations do not matter. For her, Mariza is family.

A lot of people will probably think I’m soft about it, but it feels like a moral imperative to me to do everything I can,” Isabelle said. “I can’t imagine the alternative of saying, no, ‘I’m not going to give you money, your kid’s going to die!’

Crowdfunding Campaigns

These days, it is easy for people to set up crowdfunding campaigns for various purposes; though most of the popular ones are done for people for with terminal or very serious illnesses/medical conditions.

The rationale for crowdfunding is that even if the donors give only a small amount of money, when pooled together the total amount would still be higher than if only one or two people donated to the recipient.