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Trish Duncan Shares Her Struggle With Lupus And An Alternate Path To Confidence

While non-invasive dermatological treatments are on the rise for maturing women, it isn’t as common locally that someone at the age of 21 would be up for the service. Young model Trish Duncan has a different reason for availing of the benefits of Ultherapy, the first FDA-approved non-surgical lifting procedure. The Ultherapy lifting treatment she now credits for further facial contouring was developed by a German pharmaceutical company, Merz, one of the world’s top aesthetic companies.



At 18, Trish was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease.  It is caused by the body’s immune system becoming overprotective and turning on itself, affecting tissue and organs in a negative way.  “In December 2014 nagkaroon ako ng mga joint pains, I was so fatigued.  Sobrang nanghihina talaga ko. I couldn’t go to school. I was on my way to school bigla akong hinimatay dinala ako sa hospital and from there tuloy-tuloy na.  Lupus is a chronic illness, we didn't know that it runs in the family so it's hereditary.” 



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For Trish, having lupus would turn out be a medical ordeal unlike anything she experienced before. “When I was in the hospital for three months dun talaga lumabas yung iba't-ibang klase ng sakit. Naapektuhan yung lungs ko, nagkaroon ako ng pneumonia, kidney, liver [problems]. I had bone marrow aspirations, blood transfusions, and all that.”



Lupus didn’t only affect Trisha’s body’s ability to function properly but with it came the need for steroid medication that caused her face to swell. “When I did Ultherapy iba yung confidence na nagawa niya because when you have lupus talagang lumalaki yung face mo because of the steroids.”  In effect, Ultherapy was a procedure that helped give her the added confidence during a difficult time.  Being sick with lupus brought in the most particular drawbacks for Trisha, but being able to see her face aided by Ultherapy lifts and gradually returning to its normal state kept her motivated.  “When I was having it done medyo may slight discomfort, parang may stinging sensation…pero sandali lang naman siya.”



Merz is also known for developing the first ever anti-wrinkle cream back in the fifties.  As a brand ambassador Trisha also mentioned her admiration for Ultherapy’s lead endorser, Kris Aquino: “She's the perfect ambassador for Ultherapy not only because she embodies a strong woman but because she is a beautiful woman even through her life struggles. Something can come up with that and you're the author of your own life so she's an embodiment na whatever you choose to do, you can be a champion and be successful in that."



Photos by Julia Arenas and Deiniel Cuvin