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Malasakit Center beneficiary tells story of hope

ERICA Manlutac, 21, of San Fernando City, Pampanga, was plunged into despair after being diagnosed with lupus and chronic kidney disease resulting from a urinary tract infection in 2018.

«I was diagnosed before with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) nephritis, what they call lupus. I didn't know what lupus was, but my doctor said it affects the internal organs,» Manlutac said, recalling her symptoms include general weakness and cramps.

She said lack of money forced her to eat junk food most of the time, which exacerbated her condition.

«I experienced depression and anxiety. There were times when I didn't want to continue; I was ready to give up,» Manlutac said.

Manlutac added that she decided to trust God and discovered hope through the Malasakit Centers founded by Sen. Christopher «Bong» Go.

A Malasakit Center at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City provided Manlutac with financial assistance for her costly dialysis treatments.

«The Malasakit Center helped us and a lot of patients. The cost of dialysis is so high. So, it has helped us a lot, my family and me. It has helped us extend our lives,» she said.


Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11463, or the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which institutionalized the program. There are 161 Malasakit Centers nationwide.

«Senator Bong Go is fittingly called 'Mr. Malasakit' because he truly cares for those in need,» Manlutac said.

«We pray that you will be given more strength and many blessings. We hope you can help many more like us. Thank you,» she added.