x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Buy a cupcake, save a heart

Daughter raises cash for mother's surgery in Mamzar bake sale today.

Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates are expected to gather at the venue as early as 8am today to celebrate the anniversary.
Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates are expected to gather at the venue as early as 8am today to celebrate the anniversary.

DUBAI // After her mother's second heart attack this year, Kim Domingo-Valdez trawled the internet for ways to pay for the medical treatment.

The 29-year-old Filipina IT specialist's first idea - a fun run - was scuttled by the harsh Dubai climate.

"It's too hot to run in this weather," Mrs Domingo-Valdez said.

Then she drew inspiration from one of her hobbies.

"Baking for me is like meditation," she said. "It allows me to forget all the worries for a while and just focus on that icing pipe."

And so Cupcakes for a Cause - Save a Heart was born.

"My mother seemed already resigned to her fate," Mrs Domingo-Valdez said. "She and my dad told me not to worry ... but I could not accept it. I told them not to lose hope."

The health problems of her mother, Evangeline Domingo, worsened in 2008, when complications related to diabetes saw her lose her right leg due to clogged arteries.

Last year, the family was hopeful that Mrs Domingo, who is 57 and lives in Tondo, Manila, would start her physical therapy sessions and walk again with the help of an artificial limb. But in April, she suffered two heart attacks in the space of a fortnight. The second put her in hospital for more than a week.

Now she needs bypass surgery - at a cost of more than 400,000 Philippine pesos (Dh34,000) at the Philippine Heart Centre in Quezon City - to remove the blockage in her arteries and reduce the risk of another heart attack. She also needs an angiogram, which will set the family back another Dh4,000 or more.

On Wednesday night, Mrs Domingo-Valdez started baking her cupcakes and muffins in various flavours, with fondant topping and chocolate glaze. Tiny Philippine flags will be stuck on each cupcake.

For Mrs Domingo-Valdez, today's 113th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence presents her with the perfect opportunity to sell her baked goods.

She will be selling at least 500 cupcakes at Dh8 each. Her husband and her colleagues will be on hand to help with boxes, flyers and pins and set up banners at the mini-bazaar at Al Shabab Sports Club, which is behind the Century Mall in Dubai's Mamzar area.

Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates are expected to gather at the venue as early as 8am today to celebrate the anniversary.

"I'm encouraging all the organisations to support Cupcakes for a Cause," said Analiza Magno Concepcion, the chairwoman of Filcom, an umbrella organisation of 63 community groups in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

"It can make a difference in someone else's life."

After today's fund-raiser, Mrs Domingo-Valdez can take cupcake orders through her Facebook account or by e-mail: kimberlindomingo@yahoo.com

rruiz@thenational.ae