Muscles Shrinking, Hopes Expanding

Published by: Mary Grace De Loyola

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Life as they say is never fair. Many are privileged but many are not.

Well, for years in my existence I had always thought of the unfortunate events in my life. I have asked the what ifs and why nots it brings.

The bitterness in me started when I was diagnosed with a sickness that eventually caused my handicap.

I was born with a very rare condition medically called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This condition attacks the muscles causing them to shrink to the point of immobility.

Most of those who have DMD are men but there is a rare occurrence of this among women. Unfortunately, I am one of the very few women who have this condition.

Growing up was a struggle to say the least. You see, I had perfect mobility when I was in the early part of my elementary years. I could run and play around. But when I was in third and fourth grade, I noticed the gradual change of my walking pace. I became more lethargic as the days passed.
I got bullied at school because of the peculiarity of my walk. The worse part is I was clueless of what was going on with me.

My family and I weren’t able to seek medical attention because of our financial bereft since my mother is a plain housewife and my dad is a contractual carpenter. Going to the doctor was not a luxury we could afford.

In high school, the muscles in my lower extremities completely shrunk and I became officially impaired because I could not walk on my own. I had to use a wheelchair to move around.

Despite that, I am blessed enough to have a relative who helped us buy a second hand wheelchair that I could use.

After high school, I knew attending a regular university would be hard with the condition I have. However, I still managed to finish a certificate program on Microsoft Office.

Like any child, I always wanted to give back to my parents for all the things they have endured for me.
This is one reason why I decided to enroll with Virtualahan after various referrals from organizations and people I knew.

After I trained with Virtualahan, I was given the opportunity to work as a virtual assistant. Since then, I earn more than I expected and most importantly, I am able to help my parents pay for our domestic needs.

Also, I have the opportunity to connect with other PWDs who have other conditions. With them, I get to share wonderful things life could offer despite and in spite our special needs and everyday struggles.

My sense of purpose is awakened, my hope is expanded!

I know my condition is hard and it gets harder by the day but knowing that I have my family that supports me, and a Virtualahan community that empowers me, I will continue living because a life with a purpose gives life HOPE.

Mary Grace de Loyola
Davao City, 25 yrs. old
with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

The Strand of Hope

People got scared of them even their own family members because there were not enough scientific and medical explanations about the condition

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