By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – A refuge from the storm. A shield from harm. A fortress from an unfriendly world.
Family. I mean not just the traditional – father, mother, kids. Though we want to hold on to that concept, that one has almost been wiped away by the roaring tide of societal changes in relationships.
For our discussion here, however, family simply means related by blood. From this context, my family has provided the reservoir of support – financial, moral and otherwise – in my effort to build the Bert Eljera Kidney Transplant Fund.
From my side and Christie’s, we have collected more than $2,000, with the largest contribution of $500 coming from Jim and Leah Patterson, Christie’s cousins from New York and Tacyang.
Cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts from all over have donated something, some already for the second time, even though they don’t want their names necessarily mentioned.
Sisters Nellie and Brenda (with Mano Cosme and Emman Tiu Sonco) donated $400, while Irma Alvarez-Cisneros, a cousin now living in Australia, contributed $200.
A nephew in Canada, nieces in California, cousins in Europe, and even relatives in the Philippines, contributed an average of $100 each for the transplant fund.
This may be selfish and self-serving, but this effort to save a life is more valuable than giving money for a funeral, although everything has time and place.
The irony of this all, while even my former brother in-laws rushed to help, my own children, intimidated by their mother up to now that they are adults, have not shown any intention to help.
If my concept of family is a bit eschewed, it’s because of this fact. Good thing that I have relatives who value the blood running in our veins.