"I am slowly losing my sight and other functions because of MS." - Don
Among the registered nurses we have recruited, Don Dagpa stood out as he was kind, approachable and very diligent. He devoted almost nine years of his life being a nurse to every patient in need.To his friends, he is a cheerful, outgoing and positive friend. It never occurred to anyone and even to him, that behind his smiles and optimism, a disease is slowly destroying him.
Diagnosed with MS
For nine years, Don was experiencing on and off neurologic symptoms such as tremors, weak grip, memory lapses, slow speech, unsteady gait, dizziness and hiccups. Though it didn’t stop him from doing his daily activities and work, it somehow affected him. Nobody knew what it was until he was admitted in St. Luke’s Hospital in October 2016 and diagnosed with secondary progressive type MS. The neurologic exam revealed the following:
- Left internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO)
- Scanning speech
- Horizontal and vertical nystagmus
- Intention tremors
- Head titubation
- Ataxic gait
His neurologist prescribed him to undergo several tests, to have regular checkups and to frequently take the following medical requirements since MS has no known cure yet:
- Vitamin D supplements
- Rituximab injections
- Physiotherapy sessions
Quitting His Job
Despite his condition, he managed to return to his work in Al Ain, UAE after a few weeks as a nurse. However, since his disease is progressive, his physical condition worsened. Eventually, he was declared unfit for work by his employer’s physician making him quit his job. It left him with the only savings he has that eventually got exhausted due to his costly medical needs. He was also no longer cleared to work and travel according to his neurologist.
It was accepted by Don and his family with a heavy heart. Nevertheless, for his family, leaving his work was a good decision because with his illness, he should be near his support system which is his family.
His Life after MS
From Bicol, he regularly goes on a very long trip to Manila for his regular checkups. This has been his routine for a year, and sadly for Don, it gets tougher every time. Long travels make him dizzy and in spite of that, he manages to give a smile to people who help him through each trip.
Being unemployed, Don is having a hard time raising money for his medical needs. His illness costs roughly P35,000 (Philippine Pesos) a month including the prescribed medicines, supplements, professional fees, transportation expenses, etc. Though his family supports him financially, it is not enough for a lifetime treatment because sadly, MS has no known cure yet.
As his condition slowly worsens, he was advised by his neurologist to consider undergoing stem cell therapy which costs more than P1,000,000 (Philippine Pesos). This therapy will help him regain his senses and hopefully his full function.
As of the moment, he is taking quarterly injection of Rituximab which costs P60,000 (Philippine Pesos) per vial. This is aside from his monthly medications and therapy sessions which costs P15,000 per month.
Here’s the breakdown of Don’s medical expenses:
- Monthly medications and therapy sessions – P15,000 x 12 months = P180,000
- Quarterly injection of Rituximab – P60,000 x 4 quarters = P240,000
- Total (Good for 1 year only) – P420,000
- Plus: Stem Cell Therapy – P1,000,000+
- Grand Total – P1,420,000+
Your Help Counts
We ask for your prayers and donations as he continues to live his life despite the pain he relentlessly goes through. God, his family, friends and your prayers are his greatest source of strength in fighting MS. Please help us reach out and support Don at this time of difficulty.
Your donations will be used for his medical expenses, including transportation costs and professional fees. Hopefully, if we are able to meet the goal, he will undergo the stem cell therapy to bring back the lively Don.
Please donate and share this with your family and friends. Thank you for all your prayers, support, and love for Don! God will indeed bless you all!
For Philippine-based guests without PayPal account, you may deposit your donation at this bank account:
Bank: Banco de Oro (BDO)
Account Name: Dean Paolo Dagpa
Account No.: 004493750351