The country’s leading cosmetics brand, Ever Bilena, together with the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), is extending a helping hand to patients of Lupus as it officially partners with Hope for Lupus Foundation to help raise awareness on the chronic autoimmune disease.
Occurring when the body’s immune system attacks the muscles and organs, at least 30 to 50 in 100,000 of the population in the Philippines are victims of Lupus. This disease can be difficult to diagnose as its symptoms often imitate other ailments. Its most distinctive symptoms are a butterfly-shaped rash on the face from the bridge of nose to the cheeks, fatigue or fever, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, skin lesions that worsen when exposed to sunlight, shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes, headaches, confusion, and memory loss.
“It’s an unpredictable disease. One day I was okay traveling, then the next day I was in the hospital and I didn’t know what was happening to me,” shared Hope for Lupus Foundation founder, Congresswoman Emmeline Aglipay-Villar. “I am lucky that I can afford treatment, but a vast majority of Lupus patients in the Philippines cannot afford even a diagnosis, much less treatment and medication.”