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Letran player with tumor needs help


By Kristel Satumbaga


Letran’s Jerrick Balanza is in dire need of financial help.

That’s because the veteran guard has been diagnosed with a brain tumor in his temporal lobe.

Fr. Vic Calvo, OP, Letran’s representative to the NCAA Management Committee, disclosed the sad news Wednesday night after they received the diagnosis from neurosurgeon Dr. Manuel Mariano.

Balanza, 21, is required to undergo operation to remove the tumor as soon as possible.

What is a temporal lobe?

Google says it is one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex in the brain of mammals and is located behind one’s ears and extends to both sides of the brain. Its functions are memory, sensory input, language, emotion and comprehension. We will not go deeper into but I hope you get the meaning. Tumors, if left unchecked, could turn out cancerous. We hope and pray that it doesn’t go to that.

Calvo said they are asking for financial help as the operation will cost at least R500,000.

“Initially, R800,000 was the cost but since the doctor is from Letran and was recently awarded as an outstanding alumnus, it was cut to R500,000. Peter Cayco is also helping because he knows people from the hospital,” said Calvo.

Letran is also asking the Management Committee to approve their request for replacement of Balanza in reserve Gaylord Pambid.

The 6-foot-3 Balanza currently averages 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists, helping Letran to finish the nine-game first-round eliminations at joint third with a 6-3 win-loss record.