WASHINGTON, D.C. – Filipino American Cancer Care (FACC) Incorporated, the first-ever Filipino-American cancer care organization in DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DVM) Metropolitan area, joined many community organizations across the country as part of the Million Mask Challenge Initiative.
The initiative supports hospital staff members and frontline healthcare workers by donating Do It Yourself (DIY) masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During these uncertain times, the newly formed organization accepted the challenge to sew or buy and donate more than 500 cloth face masks to various hospitals at the Virginia Cancer Specialists (Arlington, Fairfax & Woodbridge office locations), Reston Hospital Oncology and Radiation Department in Virginia, Medstar Georgetown Hospital Respiratory Department in DC, George Washington University Hospital ER Department in DC, Johns Hopkins Hospital – Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland and the Suburban Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, Montgomery Maryland.
FACC’s Board member Chef Evelyn Bunoan and her husband Oscar Bunoan led the charge of baking delicious and healthy cookies in partnership with their organization Cancer Health and Eat Well (CHEW) Foundation.
Mama Alice baked also 20 dozens of her yummy classic Filipino pandesal bread. Alice is the mother Belle Salce, FACC’s Treasurer and small business owner of Pinay Sweet Creations in Dumfries, VA.
Overall, FACC has donated almost 500 kalamansi (Original Filipino version of lemon cook recipe), oatmeal and chocolate cookies to show gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices of Filipinos, Filipino-Americans and others during this crisis.
“It’s a wonderful feeling that our organization actually able to produce simple yet tangible way to show how much we care about these healthcare workers. I am personally touched how many people want to help us in our community and accept the Million Mask Challenge at a time where we are supposed to stay apart, everybody is kind of coming together. Lastly, the masks can be an enduring symbol of hope and healing during this trying time in our history. A collective community of expression to show how deeply we appreciate those who made so much sacrifices and our ability to build a resilient nation. And whether you are behind the seams or behind the mask, a hero does not always wear a cape,” said FACC founder and president Josie Moralidad Ziman said.
“We at FACC as part of growing grassroots movement across the country who felt the need to make homemade masks for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarkable because I know first-hand as a cancer patient/survivor how critical this moment for survival. Our organization already have a powerful narrative story because we know people touched by cancer are making/donating masks in honor of loved ones lost, or others are making/donating masks for the very doctors who saved the life of a family member. We are extremely proud to select Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS) as one of the many recipients of our masks initiative since this place have a special place in my heart and I became part of their family,” said co-founder and executive vice president Edward Logan said.
“It is very important to note, that we’re caregivers to a very vulnerable population. These are patients who are going through their most difficult time. They are going through a cancer diagnosis and we are the ones helping them through that. When we see those people turning around and helping us to take care of more patients, that’s a really humbling thing. These are people in need and they are trying to use their resources to help us and that is just heartwarming. And the response has been amazing. I can’t even have calculated that something like this could have happened. I personally admire the FACC’s passionate members and volunteers for setting an example of how truly committed to its primary mission,” Dr. Dipti Patel-Donnelly with Virginia Cancer Specialists said.
Established February 2020, FACC is a newly formed 501 (c)(3) non-stock, non-profit, non-political, charitable and all volunteer-based cancer organization in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area is dedicated to serving the Fil- Am cancer community.
The FACC’s primary mission is to C.A.R.E. for Filipino, Filipino-American and medically underserved persons in the Philippines and United States, particularly those impacted by cancer.
The FACC’s vision rests on four major pillars of C.A.R.E. – Collective outreach programs designed to fit our unique culture for our community, Advocate for better comprehensive cancer care during and after/post treatment, Research tools for cancer patients, survivors, family members, and caregivers regarding financial assistance, and lastly Educate our community on cancer prevention, early detection, screening and treatment options.
To learn more about FACC, please visit: www.filamcancercare.org