Kuya Kim Atienza opens up about battling rare disease

MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN’s weather reporter and former It’s Showtime host Kim Atienza on social media opened up about his own rare disease.

Kim Atienza was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome
Kim Atienza was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Kim Atienza

Kuya Kim celebrated “Rare Disease Day” and shared on Instagram that he battled a rare disease called “Guillain-Barre Syndrome.” He shared a photo of himself on a hospital bed, undergoing treatment, all smiles with his children.

Kuya Kim wrote, “Today, the last day of February is celebrated as Rare Disease Day. I’m sharing this as a way of helping create awareness for rare diseases. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare but serious autoimmune disorder.”

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a disorder in which the immune system attacks healthy cells. It often leads to weakness, numbness and tingling sensation. As it gets worse, the patient may suffer paralysis.

Kuya Kim calls it a “miracle” that he was healed
Kuya Kim calls it a “miracle” that he was healed | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Kim Atienza

The Ironman finisher revealed that he is now doing great. He was lucky to have received enough treatment and was granted a “miracle through the doctors” who helped him.

However, the “Weather Weather Lang” anchor admitted that not everyone is as luck as him. There are a lot of patients,especially children who need support and help for the treatment of their various rare diseases. Atienza wrote, “ God worked his miracle through the doctors who looked after me. I’m now doing great. Some aren’t as lucky. There are patients, especially kids in the Philippines who suffer from various rare disease.”

Kuya Kim asked the public to support Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders. He stated, “ Let’s help them live better lives. If you’re interested in helping contact the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders at info@psod.org.ph”

Rare or Orphan Diseases in the Philippines

According to the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders, Inc., there are more than 7,000 rare disease known worldwide. These are diseases that affects one person out of 2,000 or fewer.

Up to 80% of these rare disease are hereditary in nature. Up to 75% of these diseases affect children and 30% die before they reach five years old. To make things worse, only 5% of rare diseases in the world have US FDA-approved treatments.

Last year, the first ever Philippine rare disease symposium was held in partnership with the Department of Health and University of the Philippines National Institute of Health (UP-NIH). UP-NIH stated that “The symposium envisions strengthening the pathway for collaboration among partners and stakeholders for effective implementation of the national rare disease program.”

The DOH advocates newborn screening to help diagnose rare diseases early. But since only a few rare diseases can be detected using the test, regular check-up with a paediatrician is advised.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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