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Young cancer patient meets Hello Kitty

A young cancer patient got the surprise of her life when she finally met her idol Hello Kitty through the efforts of GMA 7 news reporters during an event held in Pasig City last Saturday.

Accompanied by her mother Beth, Zhyanne shook hands and hugged the Hello Kitty who is in the country as part of world tour.

Hello Kitty in return gave her tickets to the show “Hello Kitty Live – Fashion and Friends” which goes on stage at the Meralco Theater from Dec. 20 to Jan. 1.

Zhyanne, 5, is suffering from retinoblastoma, a form of cancer that starts in the eye.

The girl and her mother have been staying for several months at the Child Haus in Paco, Manila, a temporary shelter for poor patients from the province who have cancer or other dreaded diseases.

It is at Child Haus where Nelson Canlas, an entertainment reporter of GMA 7, met Zhyanne, a big fan of Hello Kitty.

“I have been supporting Child Haus for eight to 10 years now. I started supporting them when I covered upon the invitation of Mother Ricky Reyes. I think it was nearing my birthday that time and I wanted to celebrate there. So I made it a point that every year or every other year, doon ako sa kanila magse-celebrate ng birthday ko and other special events like Christmas,” recalled Canlas, who has been with the Kapuso network for 14 years now.

These days, other GMA 7 news reporters joined Canlas in spreading the holiday cheer. They are Aubrey Carampel, Dano Tingcungco, and Tina Panganiban-Perez.

“The first Child Haus was located at the Quezon Institute compound. They have transferred to other places in Quezon City. Now it is located in Paco, Manila. The thing is these kids have cancer but they do not know how serious their conditions are. When you go there, you will not feel emotional but you will just share your love to make them happy,” said Canlas.

The GMA 7 entertainment reporter said that the gifts for kids come from their friends who want to help Child Haus.

“We call it the ‘Ninong and Ninang Project.’ What we do is we ask each kid to write down their Christmas wishes. Our rule is not to give Noche Buena packages or anything for their chemo. Nothing like that. What we want are the stuff kids really want like toys, dolls, scooter, or clothes,” Canlas said.

“Then our friends will pick the child whom they want to help. Then that child will be the ‘inaanak’ of my friend for this year,” he added.

“Few weeks before Christmas, I would post on social media about our cause. The response is overwhelming. Many people really want to help. Believe it or not, sometimes we have to turn them away and ask them to help us or come back next year,” Canlas said.

One of his emotional encounters at Child Haus happened when a child asked for a travelling bag.

“An eight-year-old child ask for a travelling bag for Christmas. The sponsor gave the bag to the child. When the sponsor asked why a travelling bag, the child said, ‘I can feel that I will be travelling with Jesus in the coming days,'” Canlas recounted. After two weeks, the child passed away.