Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mothers out there!
Meet Hermelinda. She too is a mum, and has been working in the UAE for the past two decades. Her heart-wrenching dilemma caught the attention of Radio Spice’s RJ Bhairavi, and went on to prove how big-hearted Dubaiites can be.
It’s Mother’s Day today; the perfect day for a post on a loving mother with a heart full of love and hope. Grab a box of tissues, and read on about Hermelinda and her reunion with her beloved son Jonathan.
Hermelinda has lived and worked in the UAE for over 20 years. Like many mothers from her native Philippines, she left her baby son Jonathan in the care of her extended family back home, and worked hard to support her family financially.
Life goes on. 20 years pass, and Hermelinda has sacrificed precious moments with her son. She has missed Jonathan’s growing years. He has now grown into a young man.
Then tragedy struck. Hermelinda has been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She is far too weak to travel back home, yet she desperately wants to see her son again. She starts saving up for Jonathan’s tickets, and forgoes vital chemotherapy in the process. Yet the wait seems long and futile. Her health and financial situation are deteriorating.
RJ Bhairavi runs the ‘Maha Bada Breakfast Show’ on Radio Spice, and got to know about Hermelinda’s plight. She took it upon herself to help fulfill this loving mother’s wish. Bhairavi managed to get Royal Brunei airlines to sponsor the flight tickets, Cosmos Travel to arrange for the visa, and Holiday Inn (Barsha, Dubai) to sponsor the stay.
Jonathan was flown into Dubai a day prior to the reunion, and was staying in Holiday Inn, Barsha.
On the morning of 16th April 2015, Hermelinda got the biggest surprise of her life. The reunion was one of pure joy and unleashed emotions. A mother and son reunited after 20 years.
Ms. Roxana Jaffer, the CEO of Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha, applauded Hermelinda for her relentless courage as she kept fighting the life-threatening disease,never giving up hope of reuniting with her beloved son, knowing that she would not be able to travel to Philippines whilst it not being conducive financially and otherwise to bring Jonathan to Dubai.
“We have carried out several campaigns as part of the ‘Holiday Inn Dubai – Loves You’ series to bring meaningful changes to someone’s life. But this one was quite different as we were trying to help fulfill a breast cancer patient’s final wish, one who was denying herself vital chemotherapy till she saw her son. Our joint efforts with other sponsors made it possible to bring Jonathon over a day before the surprise re-union as he stayed with us secretly. It was an emotional moment when Hermelinda shed tears of joy as she finally saw her son hugging him, unbelieving her fortune. I pray and hope that is emotional burst will give her a new lease of life.” – Roxana Jaffer, CEO of Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha.
The re-union was sealed with a cake cutting ceremony aptly lit with 20 candles signifying each year of separation of mother and son.