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September 6, 2014

by Nadine Sameon


nother opportunity to serve
presented itself at the Quarterly
Meeting of the Lupus Support
Group of Panay (LSGP), Inc. held at Iloilo
Medical Society this September 6, 2014.
Members of the Order of Asclepius
volunteered and facilitated a program for
Lupus patients coming from all over the
island, named “Lupus and US (An
Asclepian day with persons with Lupus).”
Around 50 participants composed of
patients and their caregivers took part in
the program. The participants featured a
diverse age bracket, the oldest patient
being 74 years old and the youngest
diagnosed at 9 years old. The opening
remarks were given by Dr. Caroline
Arroyo, the primary adviser of the
support group. The guest speaker, Dr.
rheumatologist aiming to empower Lupus
patients, discussed an overview of the
disease where she stressed on several
important points that Lupus patients
should know - notably, having a strong
social support and not giving up.
The participants were divided into
seven groups, combining newly diagnosed
patients with old ones. The resident
members guided the sharing of each
patient by asking questions focused on

their symptoms, diagnosis, and how they
coped with their condition. As their
stories unfolded, it was clear that the
picture of SLE found in books does not
really mimic that found in reality. More
than a few tears were shed as the
participants recounted the struggle that
they dealt with in learning their
diagnosis. Indeed, the founding of the
support group proved to be of great help
to them.
Afterwards, resident member Anne
Lorreine Daulat of Batch 36 gave a
lecture and demonstration on Energy
Conservation and Joint Protection
targeted on the participants who
experienced joint pain.
It was
heartening to see the participation and
avid attention of the audience from the
start of the program until the end.
The LSGP was founded in 2007 as a
haven to Lupus patients, where they can
be reassured that they are not alone and
where they can draw strength from
numbers. Lupus Inspired Advocacy
(LuIsA) is another national movement to
increase public awareness on Lupus and
banish the stigma that comes with it,
thereby giving hope to Lupus patients
who are still suffering without seeking

This event has opened the eyes of the
resident members to other avenues of
service. Even if the help that we extend
may not be monetary or physical in
nature, the companionship and the open
ears and minds that we lend to these
patients go a long way in their continuing
battle against a disease that until now has
no definitive cure. In the future, the
resident members hope to meet and join
other movements and support groups
with the aspiration of becoming great
doctors who can manage their patients
holistically. #

The members would like to thank Dr.
Caroline Arroyo and the Iloilo Medical
Society for inviting us to be a part of your
efforts against Lupus.
Special thanks to Dr. Helmar Soldevilla
for gracing us with your time and expertise.
For information or queries on the Order
of Asclepius’ future activities, please contact
GLA Angeli Nicole Portigo at 09285024601
or JMA Argee Alonsabe at 09222900634 .

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