Christian, Bobby help spread awareness of lupus

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Bobby Yan and Dr. Geraldine Racaza

“We need to let others know that there is hope for people who have lupus (a chronic autoimmune disease). There are a lot of ways to fight it.”

Singer-actor Christian Bautista said this at the recent launch of the book “Living Better With Lupus,” published by Hinge Inquirer Publication.

“It’s hard to fight any battle without support,” Christian explained. “If you’re feeling something, let others know about it immediately. I’m pretty sure help will come for you.”

“In fact, when I checked online, I discovered that there are quite a few celebrities who have it. Their schedule is tougher than most people, but with the right information and medication, they’re able to manage it.”

Among those who have admitted having lupus are Selena Gomez, Toni Braxton, Seal, Nick Cannon, Lady Gaga and the late Michael Jackson.

Christian, who performed during the book launch, recalled to the Inquirer having a friend afflicted with the same illness.

“She’s a manager. When at work, I could sometimes see that she was in pain. But she never let this interfere with her work or her relationships with me and our other friends. She knows that we’re here for her,” said the cast member of GMA7’s “My Love from the Star.”

Like Christian, TV host-actor Bobby Yan promised to use his celebrity status and influence to help spread awareness of lupus.

“The best healing therapy is friendship and love,” said Bobby, whose wife is afflicted with lupus.

Quoting the late American vice president Hubert Humphrey, Bobby stressed the importance of having a solid support group when battling any illness.

“In anything, whether it is alcoholism or drug addiction, it’s a big help when you have people you can talk to,” said Bobby, who cohosted the book launch with Trisha Duncan (a lupus patient).

As a husband, Bobby said it’s tough living with a lupus patient, “but you have to be accepting and more patient. You have to understand that they have their bad days, and on those days, they’re very irritable and tired. Like the other day, she was shouting at someone on the phone. When I asked her about it the next day, she just laughed at herself. You see, they are getting the worse end of the deal compared to you, who don’t have it.”

“This is great,” he said about the Hope For Lupus Foundation’s (HFL) move to come out with a comprehensive guidebook on the disease.

“The bigger goal is to make information and medicine accessible to those who can’t afford it. Managing lupus isn’t cheap. Thankfully, the number of patients in the Philippines is not that big.”

“Living Better With Lupus” is authored by Akbayan Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, also a lupus patient, and doctors Angeline Magbitang-Santiago, Evelyn Osio-Salido and Geraldine Zamora-Racaza.

Villar, who is also HFL founder, said another goal is to produce booklets or stories in comic-book form about lupus that will be distributed in barangay health centers all over the country.

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