Cavite One of the beneficiaries in celebration of World Cerebral Palsy Day in a medical mission and forum held on October 29, 2022, at SM Rosario Activity Center in Barangay Tejero. Photo by Dennis Abrina

SM Cares marks ‘Cerebral Palsy Day’ at SM Rosario

November 4, 2022 Dennis Abrina 452 views

ROSARIO, Cavite – In celebration of World Cerebral Palsy Day, SM Cares, together with SM City Rosario and the Cerebral Palsy Epilepsy Family Awareness Support Group.PH Inc. (CPEFAS PH) raised awareness for the need for accessible and alternative assistive technology for children with Cerebral Palsy in a medical mission and forum held on October 29, 2022, at SM Rosario activity center in Barangay Tejero here.

Despite the weather, 140 beneficiaries and their families attended the event to receive free assessments and casting for assistive devices through volunteers from the Philippine Association of Prosthesis and Orthosis and the Physicians for Peace.

Attendees also learned tips on the right nutrition, food preparation, and available financial support from PhilHealth, while bonding over parent inspirational talks and sharing of talents.

The event was supported by Jollibee, Clyde’s, Tom’s World, Quantum, and Schneider Electric, while SM employees also donated Bears of Joy, snacks, gift items, prizes, and entertainment.

“This is our third time organizing World Cerebral Palsy Day in the Philippines, and our first time partnering with SM. We are really thankful to SM Cares and SM City Rosario for accommodating us because it is really important for families like ours to reach others in the same community and help make government support for kids’ rehabilitation more accessible,” shares Jessa Marmol, president and founder of CPEFAS PH.

Cassandra Chan, Ms. World Charity 2022 and Ms. Chinatown 2020, joined the event, continuing a yearly commitment to inspire parents in their love and dedication for their children.

Also in attendance were Dr. Penny Bundoc of the Physicians for Peace, Angelie Fajardo, Physical Therapist lead of PALMS Children Center, Rizalino Jose, Head of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office of Olongapo City, and Rojan Abento, Hub Performance Manager at Schneider Electric.

Advocating #HealthForAll, Dr. Bundoc, herself a 2020 PRC Outstanding Professional of the Year, emphasized that “The disability that ensues after a child has Cerebral Palsy has a progressive impact on the family as casts are customized to the needs of each child every year. Rehabilitation therapy sessions are also needed to restore optimum functionality. This event helps parents worry less by knowing about the many programs available, while calling on LGUs (local government units) to also provide greater accessibility and reach. There is much that can still be done for these children in the hopes they can enter school and become productive, employed adults in the future.”

As for SM Supermalls, PWD-friendly programs support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly: good health and well-being and reduced inequalities.

Engr. Bien C. Mateo, SM Supermalls Senior Vice President and SM Cares Director for Programs for PWDs shares, “SM Cares is all about ‘Supporting Communities’ and our programs for persons with disabilities [PWDs] align with raising awareness on Accessible and Alternative Assistive Technology for those in need. In the spirit of social inclusion, we find ways to make our malls accessible and our frontliners assistive with care through our sensitivity training too. We strive to be a ‘Mall for All’, where nobody gets left behind.”

Minabelle Llanes, South 2 Regional Operations Manager at SM Supermalls, further adds: “Today, we are reminded of the significance of families and friends as support systems, just as we strive to offer the same level of care and consideration. We hope that through initiatives such as these, our malls are able to help bring the feeling of home to our partner communities as a place where you are safe, secure, and wholeheartedly accepted.”

SM Cares is the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, responsible for initiatives focused on sustainability and community development. Its programs include those on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Environment, Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, and Children and Youth, as well as the Bike-Friendly SM initiative.