Filipino-American rapper for the Black-Eyed Peas, Apl de Ap, did the city of Davao and its people a great service by donating a retinal camera to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Bajada, Davao City.
The retinal camera and the hospital hope to help reduce the newborn infant rate of Retinopathy of Prematurity or ROP.
ROP is a condition which can cause blindness in newborn infants if not treated within 48 hours.
Apl de Ap revealed: “I am Apl de Ap and I am blind.
“I am legally blind that’s why this campaign is very close to my heart,” said Apl de Ap, spelled out Allan Pineda Lindo from Angeles City, Pampanga, who in recent years set up the “Apl de Ap Foundation” to embark upon giving educational aid and addressing health care needs of Filipino children who could not afford the services.
Stricken by an eye condition known as nystagmus, Pineda grew up impoverished under the care of a single mother, saying: “I had difficulties going to school.”
The Grammy Award winning singer said he could not read the blackboard in school and had to copy notes from other classmates.
Pineda said he always dreamed of being a nurse but with his limited vision he was worried about administering needles he had also wanted to become an architect but once again the limited site put those dreams on hold.
“It was already hard enough growing up in the Philippines but imagine being blind, that’s 10 times harder,” said Pineda.
“that’s why, this is important for me because i want all the children in the Philippines to have equal opportunities in life, to pursue their dreams.”
The retinal camera that Pineda donated is the first of its kind in all of Mindanao – it is the first of five that the singer intends to turn over to regional hospitals in the Philippines.
“It is very important for me to give forward in helping out every Filipino,” said Pineda.
“I was one of those children, I came from a humble beginning, and was given enough opportunity,” Pineda said.
“I was sponsored to go to the US and became a Black Eyed Peas, and now I’m paying it forward and helping other children like me,” he said.
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