Those assisted by the Present Association are needy patients over 16 years of the North of Minas and South of Bahia, that are sent by the social workers of the hospitals of Montes Claros that attend the SUS (Unified Health System). The public served by the institution is composed mainly of the elderly.
The recruitment of people assisted and hosted at the headquarters of the Present Association is referral hospitals of the institution, by spontaneous patients and caregivers, or referral by the neighboring municipalities.
Ediléia Fernandes da Costa
She is 31 years old, and has been assisted by the Gift Association for a year. She is from Urucuia and does her cancer treatment in Montes Claros. According to her, if it were not for the possibility of being sheltered in the Association, it would be difficult to carry out the treatment. "It is very difficult to treat away from home, I would have to pay for lodging and financial conditions could not," he says. Edilea says that the house climate is very good and that it helps in recovery. "At home we are very well received. This is everything to me. People are very dedicated and I'm sure that love helps a lot in recovery, "he says. The assistant also states that "it was God who prepared this place". (Testimony in July 2015).
Ana Barbosa Farias
From the city of San Francisco, North of Minas Gerais, she has been staying at the Associação Presente for a month for cancer treatment. According to Ana, the treatment in Montes Claros would be unviable if she did not have help from the Association, since the expenses to stay in the city would be very high. "I had no way to pay the board, lunch, it would be very expensive and I would end up abandoning the treatment. The rooms here are very good, the food very good. I would not have been able to get all this by myself, "he says. At home, Ana participates in craft workshops and says she likes manual work very much. For her the Association is also a place to make friends. "It's like family here. We make so much friendship, we are treated with such care. The Gift Association is a home when we have nowhere to stay. It is a gift from God ", he concludes. (Testimony in November 2015).
A light breeze hangs over the room where the interview will take place. Aidê, a patient assisted by the Present Association, brings the tranquility and wisdom of a woman, the mother of two angels - Gabriel and Rafael, defined by her - in her second treatment against breast cancer. His journey began in mid-2013, after a walk of comings and goings for authorization of exams and lack of diagnosis in his city. But there was hope and everything was resolved with Dr. Juliana, "an angel" as she herself defines, in June 2013. Diagnosed with breast cancer, her treatment begins in Montes Claros with chemotherapy. However, the diagnosis was late and then the right breast mastectomy needed to be performed in January 2014. In these comings and goings to Montes Claros, his consolation and support has always been in the Present Association "here I live with people who have the same problem as me. The support that the PRESENT house gives me is much bigger than material, it's human! " This consolation in the house, according to her, makes her endure the coexistence with the disease, be stronger and resistant to treatment. But his story does not stop there. A pause. Singes tears flow. Aidê is moved and then the fragility of woman is stamped, but it is evident the faith that carries within itself. Thus, with eyes watering, the story continues. "The second diagnosis (left breast) was lucky! Through an examination requested by Dr. Bertha that the second cancer was diagnosed, "and still completes the phrase stating" at no time do I question God about why, nor do I feel like giving up. There are those who look at us with pity, but I take deep breaths and seek strength. " His career counts with courage and determination, in every way. Her firmness shows the confirmation of what is clear with those who live with her: "It is a force that I must have ... I know that this force is not mine, it is from GOD!" And he concludes: "People talk about cancer as if it's the end of it all. We are all in a single queue and nobody knows when it will die. I live one day at a time, tomorrow belongs only to GOD!" (Testimony in August 2016).
Zumelina Rosa de Oliveira
A finger of vanity, a hint of sweetness, an open smile, and a rather shy look. Zumelina Rosa de Oliveira, a few weeks ago in the Present Association, came from São João do Pequi, settled in Novo Horizonte to lend joy to those around her. The cancer of the cervix was a scare and separated it from the mother, who also has health problems. Dona Zu passes by the present Association accompanied by a friend of the family, since the mother stayed with a sister in the small farm of the family. What she likes most about the house is talking to people. "Everyone here is a good person, everyone is good to us. Take care, give medicine, it's very good. '' Dona Zu loves to take pictures near the gardens and likes to talk with her colleagues. For her, it's a distraction to get to know their stories. "You get to meet a lot of people, do not you," she says. The patient says that the biggest nostalgia and pride in her life is a daughter, who lives in São Paulo with her husband. '' I have a beautiful daughter, a big one, bigger than me. She is married, has a life there, we miss her. '' Despite the affection she has for her family, according to Dona Zu, if she could stay in the present Association for a long time. "You do not even want to leave, we just go to see the family. It's too good here, '' he jokes. (Testimony in November 2017).