IT is during the darkest nights that stars shine the brightest, just like how volleyball players united recently to extend a helping hand to their fellow volleybelle.
Petron spiker Carmela Tunay, who initiated a jersey auction for the late Olympian Ian Lariba, announced on Thursday via her Twitter account that there will be another fundraising campaign, this time for the benefit of Jovelyn Gonzaga's nephew, Calix Vander.
The three-year old little boy has been in and out of the hospital in the past month after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and the hospital bills are starting to mount for the Gonzaga family.
CV, the son of Jovelyn's older brother, will undergo chemotherapy and each cycle would cost up to P100,000, excluding tests and medication.
"Hindi ko pwedeng pabayaan ang pamilya ko kasi kulang na lang 'yun lumabas sa sinapupunan ko," Jovelyn told sportswriters during the welcome dinner for the ASEAN Grand Prix at Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. "Sobrang blessing ni Mela at ni Ate Rachel Daquis. Actually sila talaga 'yung nagri-reach out sa akin. [Si Mela nasabi na] 'Ate, if ever gusto mong magpa-auction.' Tapos si Ate Rachel gagawa raw siya ng videos para humingi ng tulong sa mga tao."
As of posting time, Tunay and Gonzaga have been receiving pledges and donations from the local volleyball fanbase, while further details on how others can help will also be posted on social media.
Jovelyn's Cignal teammate, Jheck Dionela, has joined in asking for help from her fans online.
In this time of difficulty, Jovelyn feels the love and support not just from her fellow volleybelles, as well as teammates from Cignal and Pacific Town Army, but also from followers.
The national team standout can now focus on her task, as the PH team participates in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix on Friday at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
"Thankful ako kay Lord kasi lahat ng ito na nangyayari sa pamangkin ko na-prepare na niya ako," she said. "It's also a blessing na nagkaroon ako ng dalawang team na naging pamilya ko. Sobrang overflowing 'yung support and love nila. Hindi ko talaga nafi-feel na nag-iisa ako, so less burden siya na hindi ako mag-isang humaharap dito. Sobrang overwhelming ng volleyball community."
Jovelyn also pointed out that no help is too little for CV.
She shared, "Ang dami nga nagme-message na ganito lang ang maitutulong ko. Walang konting tulong, pag pinagsama-sama 'yun napakalaking bagay. And prayers, sabi ko prayers ninyo napakalaking bagay na 'yun para sa pamangkin ko."