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A hero, a fighter in the game of life

Article by: Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

Being a woman means being a fighter; as a way of celebrating International Women’s Day, The New Builder highlights one of the many women who inspire and remind us to aim for legendary no matter what life throws our way. Just like her favorite hero in Mobile Legends, Freya, Kriszel “KZ” C. Laranang is a determined warrior and will never back out from fighting anything that blocks her way to victory. This time, it is KZ’s turn to attack one of the most terrifying monsters in the game of life - cancer.

I am ready for this!” KZ thought as soon as her doctor told her that she had stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. Before even consulting a doctor, she had tried searching about the possible illnesses she might have had to prepare herself for what she was about to conquer. Deep down, she knew that the battle had just begun. Nevertheless, like the winged Valkyrie, KZ was born to be a hero, a real fighter.

Spirit Contact

Just like the spirit orbs surrounding and shielding Freya at times of peril, during the moments when she felt like giving up, KZ’s family became her allies, her safe haven, as they were there to assure her that she was not alone and they believed in her. “They are my strength, so I want to be their strength as well,” she added.

Because the people around her have given their support, she would like to give the same energy back by spreading love, peace, and hope. She would want to become an inspiration, a light, and a motivation for people going through a dark time themselves. Knowing the difficulties and struggles she’s gone through, she hopes to be a living testament to the power of strength and self-belief.

Wings of Faith

Aside from fighting her illness, KZ also had to fight off the thoughts in her head. These thoughts were loud and often did not allow her to sleep. In a cycle of emotions, she would cry, laugh, or get irritable without reason. As a means of coping, she would distract herself by playing online games, sketching, or starting conversations with people. As time went by, she believed that it had gotten easier to cope with.

She also thought of her dreams and aspirations in life - all the things she has yet to accomplish. KZ reminds herself that she has a purpose to carry on with life regardless of the challenges she faces. She wanted to share her knowledge and stories and turn into a source of inspiration for everyone who is going through a difficult phase in life.

Godspeed Strike

Seemingly out of nowhere, she was thrown into a battlefield. As a particularly active person, she found it odd that she would get tired so easily. She recalled that she started having difficulty breathing, her chest and back would hurt, she noticed some enlarged lymph nodes, and she had a cough that only seemed to worsen over time back. Her symptoms started around July or August 2019.

A battle like this would be long and it definitely would not be easy. She was fully aware of that. To other people, this shocking news would break their spirits, but to KZ, it gave her a reason to stay strong and continue fighting.

After knowing about the battle that she was about to face, KZ had one definite goal in mind - to overthrow the monster as quickly as possible. She has planned her way to recovery with every ability in her arsenal. These are the battle skills in her life that would lead her on to beating the challenges that she will face on the way.


As a creative and resourceful fighter, KZ reflected on ways on how she can help her family to pay for the medical expenses. Her friend and fellow church youth volunteer suggested starting a fundraising campaign by selling t-shirts.

After, she started selling fighter shirts that ranged from Php 250.00 to 300.00 depending on the shirt size. She got the inspiration for the t-shirt design while playing online games. “I usually choose support roles in LoL and Mobile Legends because I am really scared to be the fighter/carry. Now in real life, it has become clear to me that I want to be the fighter because I know that I have my family and friends who will support me in this battle,” she said.

As for the distribution, the members of the core group of the Redemptorist Youth Mission (RYM) - Baclaran are in-charge in the Baclaran area while the officers of the Honor Society of Mapúa hand out the ordered t-shirts around Intramuros.

Above all, by selling these fighter shirts, she wanted to remind everyone to be a strong fighter in their own battles. She shared that we should all be proud that we choose to hold on, to continue, despite the pain that we are experiencing. This is because of the endurance, determination, and strength that we possess.

"Continue fighting for life and we are going to tell the world - "I am a fighter and you can never break the spirit of a fighter!"" she said.

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