7-year-old selling artwork to help sick classmate

A 7-year-old budding artist is selling notebooks with prints of his artwork on their covers to help raise funds for the medical bills of a sick classmate.

Derek Sanchez Sanson, a grade two pupil at the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod City, is helping his classmate Casean Tambasen who was diagnosed with Pontine Glioma, with secondary hydrocephalus and cerebellar tonsillar herniation.

Casean, the son of USLS first grade teacher Charette Delfin Tambasen, started with radiotherapy Wednesday that will last for 27 days.

People have come together to help Casean’s family and Derek wants to do his part too, his mother ballerina Gianne Sanchez Sanson said Friday, July 23.

“About two months ago, Derek asked us for an Xbox and we challenged him to save for it. He started selling notebooks to family with his own printed artwork as covers,” his mother said.

But when Derek learned about Casean’s medical needs, he quickly said he would give the little that he had saved for the Xbox to help.

He also made more paintings to be printed on the covers of notebooks to be able to give more to help Casean, his mother said.

Derek has never met Casean even if they are classmates because classes have been online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Derek told his mother: “Mom, I don’t need the Xbox. I’ll give the money to Casean. It is more important to help save a life.”

Gianne said she was deeply moved as she always reminds Derek to pay forward for the blessing of being healed when he was younger.

When Derek was 1 year old, he had Intussuception, a condition in which one segment of intestine “telescopes” inside of another, causing an intestinal obstruction.

“What a miracle that in less than two hours, even without surgery, his intestines were back to normal, as seen in the ultrasound. He was sent home right away as he was 100 percent well without treatment,” Gianne said.

She also said that when Derek was 2 years old he was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome – a kidney disease. He had to undergo treatment for eight months but only after a month, he was back to normal, overcame it completely and has been very healthy ever since, Gianne said.

“Growing up, we always remind him to be a blessing to others, because God had blessed him with big miracles,” she added.

Gianne is appealing to the public to support her son as he forwards the miracles in his life to Casean.

Derek is selling his notebooks at P100 each to raise funds from Casean and those who wish to help may send a message to his mother on her Facebook page at

More and more people have been buying Derek’s notebooks to help and every time someone buys his reaction has been priceless, his mother said.

Gianne said Sugar Cuenca-Tonogbanua has guided Derek in his art classes.

“Truly, art is a gift that keeps on giving,” Gianne said.*

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