The inconveniences, physical and emotional pain made me tear up in misery at such a young age. I would see all my other classmates and envy their hassle-free life.
I was born and raised in Pateros. I am the third child in the family. I had three other siblings and all of them died due to varying conditions. I am the only one left and I have a bleeding disorder called hemophilia.
I was born in 1981 but only two years after that, my gums bled for no reason and it couldn’t be stopped. It was then when my parents found out that I have hemophilia.
Despite the early manifestations of my condition, my preschool years were fine. My difficult days were overshined by the best days I spent at school with my friends. But when I reached my elementary years, the situation turned differently especially starting Grade 2 up to Grade 6.
During these years, the worst took over. I couldn’t remember the time that I wouldn’t bleed. My joints and muscles would swell and I would be in unimaginable pain. I vividly remember how I would be infused with medicines like Factor 8 Concentrate. Usually, after infusion, I would get better after 3 to 5 days as if nothing happened. But of course, my scholastic performance was always affected since I had to miss my classes whenever I’d bleed profusely and undergo medications. The inconveniences, physical and emotional pain made me tear up in misery at such a young age. I would see all my other classmates and envy their hassle-free life.
To make the situation easier for me and my parents, I decided not to go to high school immediately. I rested for another year after my elementary graduation and stayed at home. But the bleeding did not stop. My playmates would visit me at home and check on me. On my better days, I would play with them. And on my worst, they would see me limping. I was even bullied and called “pilay”.
Time went by so fast and that school year ended. In the school year that followed, I decided to go back to school. I spent my freshmen years at Las Piñas National High School, the school where my mom was teaching. Even though it was far from Pateros, my mom wanted me to be there so she would always see me. My dad would drive us from Pateros to Las Piñas to fetch us.
I survived and graduated in high school with honors. I could not solely credit this to myself but to my parents as well who have continuously supported and sacrificed for me. Both of them are my anchor and strength not just then but until now.
JOE ANGELO CUEVAS