Terry Cagaanan is a 57-year-old widow and stroke victim, and is one of the many survivors of the flash flood brought about by Tropical Storm Washi.
Prior to her stroke, Lola Terry worked for the city government of Cagayan de Oro as radio operator, but was forced to retire in 2008 due to her health issues. [Lola means 'Grandmother' in Filipino.]
She was granted $184 as a retirement benefit but the money, which was spent on her daily medication and sustenance, soon ran out. Fate was not kind to her, as her $70 livelihood assistance from the government was depleted due to the failure of her buy-and-sell business. Prior to the typhoon, Lola Terry earned a living as a candle vendor with a one euro daily income, a very minimal amount of money to make ends meet for her and her 9-year-old grandson Niño, who serves as her caregiver and companion.
When Washi hit the City, nearly 1,000 houses in Barangay 13, Isla de Oro were destroyed by rampaging flood waters. Terry's house was not spared. Lola Terry was left with nothing, not even her coin bank where she kept her savings from the daily sales of her candles.
Despite the tragedy, Lola Terry is thankful that she and her grandson survived. With the aid of her cane stick, they were able to exit through the roof to escape the raging flood that wiped-out Lola Terry's house. “What happened is a nightmare for me and my grandson,” stated Lola Terry.
She hopes that once more, the city government of Cagayan de Oro will extend assistance and facilitate relocation so that she and her grandson can rebuild their home and start anew. Meanwhile Lola Terry expresses her gratitude to Handicap International for replacing her rattan cane stick with a stainless single cane on January 5, 2012.