By Leslie Ann Aquino
For this Catholic priest, his cancer was a “blessing.”
Father Jerry Orbos, SVD, a stage 2 lung cancer survivor, said cancer made him realize how beautiful life is, and also led him to his new “mission.”
“I thank God, I had cancer. It’s a blessing. It cleansed me a lot, made me humble and made me realize how beautiful life is,” he said during the recent launch of the “Voices of Hope” lung cancer advocacy campaign in Manila.
According to the priest, it was in 2018 when it was discovered that he had a tumor in his left lung after he figured in a vehicular accident. He said it was discovered when he asked his doctors to include his lungs in the CT scan.
“If I didn’t go for the check-up they would not have seen the tumor. Everything that happens there’s a reason. I realized there’s a mission. Now, I end up being an advocate for cancer, healing and for the presence of God in our cancer,” said Orbos.
He said it was also during that time that he came to know more about St. Ezekiel Moreno, the patron of cancer patients after somebody gave him a statue of the saint.
“After radiation, I was praying…then I noticed he was sweating. There were also teardrops. Many people also saw it,” Orbos said.
“After my last chemotherapy, the perspiration was gone, no more tears. And I asked St. Ezekiel why did it stop? The message to me was: Jerry, you are healed. No more cancer,” he added.
The priest underwent a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
True enough, Orbos said the result of his PET scan early this year revealed, “no cancer cells, no recurrence.”
“I personally believe he was manifesting his presence, his healing, and intercession. Remember, he was himself a cancer victim. He died of cancer,” said the priest.
The statue of the saint, he said is now placed at the Christ the King mission house in Quezon City, which is being visited by a lot of people seeking healing.
“Now what I’m doing most of the time is getting involved in praying over those who have cancer with the help of St. Ezekiel,” said Orbos.
To those suffering from the big C, he asked them to turn to God and pray.
“Sufferings lead us to God in so many ways but that’s not the only reason why we turn to God. Even in our blessings, we turn to God as well to be grateful,” Orbos said.
“Pray. I went with it with prayer…things happen for a reason. The big C has a bigger C, Christ and the big CH (chemo), has a bigger CH Christ,” the priest said.