69-year-old Julieta Lorenzo, a frail old lady in the Philippines, has recently melted the hearts of thousands around the archipelago after photos of her carrying her 30-year-old disabled daughter to the bank to collect her pension went viral online.
The heartwarming photos were snapped by Facebook user Gilbred Cargason Alsagon Jr, who was at a branch of the Development Bank in the city of Roxas when Julieta and her daughter walked in. The sight of a small 69-year-old woman hunched over with a full grown woman on her back made a big impression on everyone present, Alsagon reported, but even though many offered to help them, the woman politely declined, saying that her daughter, Mary Jane, didn’t trust anyone else to carry her.
Gilbred learned that Julieta and Mary Jane come to the bank every month to collect the 69-year-old’s pension of just P2,000 ($40) which they both rely on to put food on the table. He posted a few photos of the two as well as a short video on his Facebook page hoping that they would reach people in a better position to help them, as he had his own elderly mother to take care of. His post went viral, and was eventually picked up by national media outlets, which investigated the story further.
It turns out that Julieta Lorenzo has been taking care of her disabled daughter for almost three decades. Mary Jane has been paralyzed since she was three years old, and she is also unable to speak or feed herself. Julieta has been carrying her daughter every where she goes, afraid that she might get molested or injured if she lets her out of her sight.
And as if having to carry her adult daughter on her back wasn’t hard enough for a 69-year-old woman living in the city, it was later revealed that the two live in Bolo village, on the outskirts of Roxas, and have to walk up a dirt path clasped with tree roots in order to reach the modest home that they’ve been living in for the last 25 years.
It’s clear that Julieta’s meager pension is nowhere near enough to provide the medical care that he daughter deserves, but there’s no denying that she is doing everything she can for Mary Jane. However, the reports mention nothing about a husband or relatives she can rely on, and there’s only so much one person can do, especially at her age.