A crowdfunding campaign to finance medical treatment for a domestic worker who was fired for having cancer has surpassed its target of HK$400,000.
Filipina domestic worker Baby Jane Allas hit the headlines after she was abruptly fired after being diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer in January. The 35-year-old mother of five was left without healthcare following her dismissal.
The Hong Kong government requires foreign domestic workers to leave the city within two weeks after the termination of their employment. But Allas had her stay extended to March 19 following a labour claim hearing.
The campaign had reached HK$715,572 as of Monday morning.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generous support from the community,” Jessica Cutrera, founder of the GoGetMeFunding campaign, told HKFP. “Now that we have funds to start to provide her with the medical care she needs, and support from the medical community, Baby Jane is focused on her health care. We are working on getting her children passports so they can come [to] visit.”
Cutrera added that Allas had managed to secure a private oncologist, primary care doctor and hospital last week, and is working on securing pro bono care.
“It’s heartwarming for her to see how many people are moved by her story and who have spoken out against the terrible treatment she has endured. It’s also really helped give her the strength to fight,” she said.
Cutrera is an American lawyer who employs Allas’ sister and is housing Allas, while working with NGOs to send money to her children in the Philippines.
There were 369,651 foreign domestic workers living in Hong Kong at the end of 2017, with the number set to rise to 600,000 by 2047, according to the government.