Lariba’s farewell fight
Imelda Lariba vividly recalls how her daughter, Rio de Janeiro Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba, spoke about her condition and taught children with cancer to never entertain depression.
“She inspired kids by telling them that they should not be discouraged,” the elder Lariba said. “Yanyan served as an ambassador for cancer patients.”
That’s how Lariba spent her final months before she passed away late Sunday night at St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City in Taguig.
The former La Salle table tennis star, undefeated in her entire five-year stint in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, was 23.
She was diagnosed with leukemia early last year and underwent bone marrow transplant in November.
President Duterte, through the Philippine Sports Commission, offered to settle the hospital bills.
According to her mother, Lariba suffered from infections three days after a chemotherapy session. Half her face was paralyzed after doctors tried to remove the infections.
“Yanyan never thought she would have cancer because she’s an athlete. She told the kids not to lose hope and to continue fighting,” said Imelda.
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