Help Cielo Fight Dermatomyositis
Our Mom, Cielo, was diagnosed with dermatomyositis and is currently hospitalized for treatment. Dermatomyositis is a rare inflammatory disease of the muscles which affects an estimated 10 out of 1,000,000 (one million) people.
On her road to healing, costs are estimated to reach 3 million Philippine Pesos.
We have exhausted her HMO and our personal funds. We need your HELP. We are knocking on your hearts so we can raise funds for our dear Mom Cielo.
Please pray for us. Every donation and share of our fundraising page will also go a long way.
After a short trip to La Union last 17 November 2018, our Mom started feeling pain in her legs and body weakness. We wrote it off to fatigue but the pain and weakness kept getting worse. She started getting rashes on her knuckles and neck as well.
On 26 November 2018, we brought her to the ER where they did some basic tests such as CBC, urinalysis, and x-ray which all came up clear. They told us that our Mom may just be experiencing muscle pain due to fatigue so after arming us with a prescription for pain meds and a referral to a dermatologist for her rashes, they sent us home.
Prior to the 26 November ER run, we decided to get her a full work-up to check the status of her health since it has been a while since she got checked out, especially for her hypertension. So on 29 November 2018, with results from her work-up (FBS, lipid profile, urinalysis, ECG, etc) we visited a cardiologist to make sure she was okay. The cardiologist told us that our Mom Cielo’s heart was okay and her hypertension under control except for an infection based on her urinalysis. The cardiologist did advice us that if she didn’t feel better in a couple of days, we should have her admitted in the hospital. Despite resting for the next couple of days, our Mom’s condition got worse and so we decided to have her admitted in the hospital last 02 December 2018.
Our Mom Cielo’s attending physician initially determined her to have rhabdomyolysis (a disease that results from the death of muscle fibers) based on creatine kinase levels in her blood. Creatinine kinase (specifically CK-MM) is an enzyme found in the skeletal muscles and the heart. CK-MM rises when the muscles are damaged.
Our Mom Cielo was immediately started on IV fluids. After one week of confinement however, her CK-MM levels kept on rising and complications related to her kidneys starter to appear. She developed edema of the body from all the fluids she was receiving and her legs were swollen. She could no longer move her legs on her own, her grip had gotten considerably weaker, and she got tired from simple tasks such as trying to move on her side while lying in bed. A rheumatologist was then called in who had our Mom undergo an electromyography-nerve conduction velocity test or EMG-NCV. They found out that her nerves were okay but her muscles were inflammed. Then on 12 December 2018 came her new diagnosis - Dermatomyositis.
Dermatomyositis is a rare inflamattory disease similar to an autoimmune disease where the the body’s disease-fighting cells, called antibodies, attack healthy cells. Dermatomyositis include a distinctive skin rash, muscle weakness, and inflammatory myopathy, or inflamed muscles.
Our Mom was started on steroids but her response to treatment has not been great. As of 14 December 2018, she has difficulty swallowing and can no longer move her arms to do something as simple as brushing her teeth. Her doctors want to put her on pulse therapy which involves administering very high doses of steroids over a period of 3 days to fight the inflammation in her body. However, due to complications - she acquired pneumonia and is currently on antibiotics and kidneys are not working well - and her advanced age (our Mom is 59 years old) doctors are suggesting she be put under telemetry/intensive care which may cost between 40K-80K a day. Along with her medicines and other supportive care (such as physical therapy so she can regain her strength) her hospital bills and treatment plan costs have shown to be astronomical (medical care here in the Philippines being especially expensive).
We were told that should steroids (pulse therapy) not work for her, she may need Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) with vials costing between 12K to 30K per vial with the treatment course costing between 500K to 2 million Philippine pesos.
A CT scan is also needed to screen for malignancies since dermatomyositis has an increased overall risk for malignant disease.
We have already exhausted her HMO coverage and our personal funds and so we, her kids, are knocking on your generous hearts for help so we can continue to fight this disease and to improve and prolong her life. Every peso will go to the payment of her hospital bills, treatments, and care.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and considering helping.
Aside from donating through the GoGetFunding page, we also accept offline donations by transferring money directly to a bank account:
For donations in Philippine Peso and US Dollars
Name: Maria Raciel Robertha Baltazar
Bank: BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands)
Account Number: 3129-1205-08
Name: Monina Karla Jimena Baltazar
Bank: Banco De Oro (BDO)
Branch: Strata 100-Ortigas Pasig
Account No: 002860307636
We will update this page as she goes through treatments.
Again thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Cielo, Reginald, Monina, Ramon, Robin, Raciel, and Raphael