Seeing through the eyes of Fatima.

“Hello father”, a girl’s voice was heard over ZNN Radio Veritas’ broadcast of Fr. Jerry Orbos’s radio show one July 2003 night. The voice, nervy but resolute, talked about trusting in God’s grace and to be hopeful and joyful in spite of sufferings.  The voice came from a very fragile 10-year old, Fatima Soriano, blind at birth and suffering from the last stage of kidney failure. Fatima’s radio-phone interview did not only stir Father Jerry Orbos, but the priest’s audience as well.

After the two met in person, they became instant friends. Fr. Jerry saw Fatima , as breath of fresh air and as God’s answer to his taxing job as Mission Director of the ‘’Society of Divine Word-Philippines’’. Fatima in turn, welcomed Fr. Jerry’s friendship and having another person to talk about her strong faith and convictions other than her parents, Danny and Fely. This friendship led to Fatima’s regular presence in Fr. Jerry’s televised ABS-CBN Sunday Masses.

The media took notice of her unwavering faith in God’s grace and her devotion to the intercession of Mary. ABS-CBN’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya” soon featured her story, and made a number of TV guestings with the media rallying on her positivism and infectious faith.

Fatima’s Television prominence led to a text brigade in 2004 which raised P1.2 million, to help in her kidney transplant after a 23-year-old kidney donor surfaced. Doctors were apprehensive at first, saying that Fatima may be at risk if the surgery pushes through, having only 90 percent compatibility of the donor’s adult arteries and veins to Match Fatima’s much smaller blood vessels. However, this apprehension was proven wrong during the February 28, 2004 surgery, when they turned out to be a perfect fit.

Fatima successfully recovered from surgery, however, her experience under the knife made it very difficult for her to continue her choir singing. But once again, her faith in God’s grace proved that nothing is impossible. In 2006, Fatima recorded four (4) songs for Fr. Jerry’s CD of inspirational songs: two of the songs,”Falling Star” and “You’re in My Heart,” were written and sung by Fatima. The two other songs which were written by Fr. Jerry and sung by her “Believe Like a Child” and (My Suffering Is) My Offering”, speaks about her and others like her with unwavering faith in God. Their work was awarded “The Most Inspiring Album” of 2007 by The Catholic Mass Media Awards.

In 2009, Fatima’s family decided to migrate to Union City USA.  To date, she continues to share her inspirations, through her songs and albums and her regular radio guesting on Fr. Jerry’s Saturday night radio program over DZMM of ABS-CBN Network, telling her audience “Habang may buhay may pag-asa. Her album “Journey to the Heart” is now available in selected record stores nationwide and in record selling websites. Fatima appeared in an MTV for an ABS-CBN Teleserye where she sang the theme song. She now also regularly appears on the daily noontime show of ABS-CBN “Happy Yipee Yehey”. She was guested and was interviewed by Boy Abunda for the Bottom Line (ABC-CBN) and News TV’s Tonight with Arnold Clavio. Fatima continues to appear on TV in her desire to share her message of unwavering HOPE.  She is currently working on her latest album to be released on her 18th birthday this coming June 2011.

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