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Lupus In the Message

If I offered up names like Selena Gomez, Seal, Kristen Johnson, Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Toni Braxton, and Lady Gaga, what would you guess they have in common? And no, it’s not singing, although I haven’t heard the voices of Rep. Emmeline or actress Kristen. The sad fact is that they all suffer from Chronic Autoimmune Diseases. With the exception of Lady Gaga who suffers from borderline Lupus via Rheumatoid Arthritis, all the names mentioned above are survivors of Systematic Lupus Erythemastosus (SLE). As a result of the SLE’s attack on their healthy tissues, their lives consist of constant monitoring and check ups, of vigilant looking out for the flaring of symptoms.


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


A couple of years ago, after falling victim to the condition, Emmeline helped set up the Hope for Lupus Foundation. Along with friends who similarly suffer, and with doctors, the Foundation tasked itself to generate public awareness, promote early detection, and foster proper treatment of SLE. Known as an incurable disease, there are medical protocols that one can follow to keep the symptoms at bay and in control. 


At the Hope for Lupus DOH signing


Earlier this year a Hope for Lupus Run was held at the Mall of Asia grounds. And just this week, Emmeline and a group of doctors unveiled a booklet, written in Pilipino, and given away for free, that helps the general population understand better the disease. Entitled Lupus, Kayang-Kaya Ko Ito. Co-authored by Drs. Evelyn Osio-Salido, Angeline Magbitang-Santiago, and Geraldine Zamora-Racaza; the booklet will not only be a valuable aid to those who suspect they may suffer from the disease, but also clues in the family and support group on how to handle themselves in relation to the one who suffers from Lupus.


READ: Keeping Us In The Lup-us




Yesterday the Hope for Lupus Foundation launched its second book entitled “Lupus, kayang-kaya ko ‘to!” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. “Lupus, kayang-kaya ko ‘to!” is an info-graphic booklet that is written in conversational Filipino and contains concise and basic information about lupus. In partnership with the Department of Health the booklet “Lupus, Kayang-kaya Ko ‘to!” is going to be distributed for free in all health centers and government hospitals all over the Philippines. ?Sec. Duque expressed his intentions to create a Philhealth lupus package for indigent lupus patients and he gave his commitment to include certain lupus meda like Belimumab and Hydroxychloroquine in the National Drug Formulary. This will be a big help to indigent lupus patients who cannot afford the medication for lupus. Also launched at the event is the lupus poster to be posted in all health centers all over the Philippines. #lupuskayangkayakoto #lupus #lupuswarrior #hopeforlupus #hopeforlupusfoundation ?

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As with advocacies of this nature, what Emmeline and the Foundation are offering is guarded Hope and a prescription for Living with Lupus. In the booklet, she even recounts the birth of her daughter, and how this happened while living under the shadow of the disease. It’s a noble effort that the Foundation has embarked upon and we can only wish them the utmost success.