Imagine an 18 year old so full of life and just about starting to learn how to be independent ready to explore and appreciate the wonderful things life has to offer. The yearnings and energy to embrace the world all gone in an instant when she found herself trapped in a debilitating disease so rare that only one in 40,000 are affected plus science still has to catch up for lack of data available.
It can be a nightmare and truly disturbing experience bordering on depression and a tendency to withdraw in self pity. Or worse get caught up in deep depression unable to handle debilitating condition when one is tied in a wheelchair probably for life instead of being out there ready to conquer our wonderful world.
Pinoy Ambisyoso called our attention at PinoyBlogosphere yahoo group on the need to spread the word about A Blogger named Kcat needing our support. A truly inspiring and moving journey of a young woman that I can hardly described for her resilience and tenacity to live a normal life has me awed and amazed.
How she does it is truly amazing, KCAT at a young tender age is just amazing at how she manage to stay very positive. Here is a person barely a woman that can withstand the trials and tribulations of life has not only inspired her family and friends but touched those that she encounters as well. The loving care and support from her family and friends gives her so much strength of will with so much energy and enthusiasm fueled by her super optimist attitude is from the Philippines afflicted with Neurofibromatosis type 2. Never in a moment used her debilitating disease as an excuse to lament the lack of modern medical facilities in the Philippines but instead sees and values the love she gets from her family, friends and supporters. Indeed she has never ceased to inspire us for her courage and super optimist outlook. NF2 definition from Medicine.Net:
Neurofibromatosis type 2: Abbreviated NF2. A genetic disorder characterized by the growth of benign tumors of both acoustic nerves (the nerves to the ears). These tumors are called acoustic neuromas or, more precisely, vestibular schwannomas. They cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, and problems with balance. Other findings in NF2 include schwannomas of other nerves, meningiomas, and juvenile cataracts.
NF2 is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and is due to mutation in the NF2 gene in chromosome band 22q12.2 which encodes a protein called merlin. About 50% of persons with NF2 inherit it from an affected parent and the other 50% with NF2 have a new gene mutation. Anyone with NF2 has a 50% risk of transmitting it to each of their children. Prenatal testing is available.
Also known as bilateral acoustic neurofibromatosis and central neurofibromatosis.
She sees and appreciates the positive side of her condition and the love of an extended family and friends that keeps her going to live life to its fullest. In so doing and her desire not to be a burden to her family is trying her best to fund her operation that will cost at least P1million.She has unleashed her artistic creativity by designing T-shirts in the hope that she get enough response from good hearted individual to patronize her effort. This is how she describes her condition:
I have NEUROFIBROMATOSIS TYPE 2 (NF2). I have brain tumors. I was normal until my disease got into me. Now, my left extremities are weak, I can’t move my left arm and hand, my left foot won’t move and my left leg is weak. I can’t walk. My right face is numb and my facial muscles won’t move. I can’t swallow well, I have a blurry vision, I can’t smile and most of all, I’M DEAF.
Kcat loss her sense of hearing in January of 2006, and like a typical courageous woman has been doing her own research to find ways to ease her pain and suffering, as she describes below:
Cochlear Implant/ABI is so expensive.. Shining Shimmering 1 million pesos (plus+plus+plus)! kaching! kaching! It really costs ALOT! it seems so impossible to raise such amount.. but everything's possible.. but then again, i can't just wait and weep forever.. right? "nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa" (we can’t leave everything to god’s graces we still have to act) so i'll just do what i can do, then i'll leave everything else to God.. so i got a lot of fund raisers in my mind in order to afford the implant because i really want to hear again.. one of which is selling shirts with my original design on it.. not only am i selling, i'm also sharing my talent (talent.. hihi!)..
I have inserted the translation for the benefit of non-Filipino readers. Others would have given up and just wallow in self pity but it is not to be. Her statement above is very compelling and truly inspiring as she shares her talent and creativity amidst the craziness out there. Your P300 can go a long way in helping fund her transplant operation and appreciation of her talent as an artist.What is so amazing is her zest and vibrant activity that she even finds time to have a meet up or meetings and going to different events to promote her original design and sell her T-shirt. Imagine what she can do if she has all her faculties so please help her regain her hearing, that’s the least we can do for someone who does not ask for charity and working hard to fund her operation.
If you happen to be in Manila check her iskedyul (schedule) and see her actively promote her designer shirts. Please help spread the word by letting people you know about her designer shirts and if you are a blogger blog about her and help her sell her T-shirts……. don’t forget to buy one yourself for A Blogger named Kcat.
I have sent Kcat's story to CNN Heroes but their nomination is not open yet so in the meantime please send them an email HERE.