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Press Release - A lupus patient's story of hope with the help of Malasakit Centers

A native of San Fernando City, Pampanga, Erica Manlutac's story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the profound impact of the Malasakit Centers program, a branchild of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, during times of dire need.

Diagnosed with lupus and a kidney problem stemming from a urinary tract infection at the tender age of 21, Erica's life took an unexpected turn towards adversity.

"Na-diagnose po ako noong 2018 po. Bago po 'yun, naramdaman ko po na nagko-collapse po ako sa school, sa church po, sa palengke," Erica recalled her troubling symptoms, initially dismissed as menstrual cramps, leading to a shocking diagnosis that would change her life forever.

The journey began with a severe urinary tract infection, exacerbated by her frugality and consumption of junk food to save money, which led to her hospitalization. It was then that her condition rapidly deteriorated, necessitating immediate dialysis.

"Na-diagnose po ako noon ng SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) nephritis, 'yung lupus po na tinatawag. Hindi ko po alam kung ano 'yung lupus, pero sabi po noong doktor ko noon, internal organ daw po 'yung tinatamaan," Erica shared, revealing her battle not just with Lupus but also with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

"Nagkaroon po ako ng depression, anxiety. May times na, ayoko na, suko na ako sabi ko sa mga parents ko, sa mga kapatid ko. Awa po ng Diyos, bumalik po ako sa kanya," she shared.

Erica found solace and strength in her faith and family, leading to a miraculous turnaround in her health and outlook on life. Her recovery journey was significantly bolstered by the support she received from the Malasakit Center, an initiative spearheaded by Go.

The center at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City provided Erica and her family with much-needed financial assistance for her dialysis treatments, which were burdensome due to their high costs.

"'Yung Malasakit Center po kasi malaki po talaga 'yung naitulong po sa amin bilang mga patient po. 'Yung dialysis po talaga is mahal po talaga 'yung gastusin niya. So ang laki po talaga na naitulong po sa amin, sa family ko, sa akin," Erica expressed her gratitude, highlighting how