I’ve read this note from our PsorPhil’s President (Josef De Guzman) and allow me to share it with you.
"We were a small group of 5 people with psoriasis who only wanted a venue to vent out our frustrations, share our dreams and articulate our hopes. Subsequently, an online support group for Filipinos with psoriasis was born – Psoriasis Philippines.
I still remember a call from a stranger regarding his female friend who, because of severe depression, was about to take her life because her family do not understand why she acquired lesions on her skin. They thought she was cursed. [However, scientific studies say that having psoriasis may be attributed to genetic predisposition.] Out of fear that she might infect them, her family drove her away. That was Christmas time, six years ago.
It was the turning point of our advocacy. Soon we were extending support to many psoriasis sufferers who were on the verge of committing suicide. Notably, more women sufferers have a tendency towards ending their life. Psoriasis Philippines continues to be instrumental in averting suicides among Filipinos living with psoriasis.
Psoriasis Philippines’ advocacy brought us to face several issues that are mostly discriminatory.
- Take the case of Ana (not her real name), 15 years old. Ana had to quit school because of Psoriasis. She gets tired of being humiliated because her skin is rough.
- Jenny (not her real name), is a young single mother who needs to work extra hard because her husband left her. This was after he told her that he can no longer bear to touch her.
- A pastor who had lesions on her face was not allowed to board the plane. Psorphil backed her up in bringing this matter to the court.
- Mary (not her real name) was driven out of the swimming pool because the staff of the resort fears she may infect other customers.
- Blanca (not her real name) was a young nursing student who was ill-advised by her dean to quit school because of her psoriasis.
If the 2million Filipinos suffering from Psoriasis will stop hiding and defy the stigma, this list can go on and on.
Having psoriasis is tough. It robs us of the very essence of our existence. And overcoming the discrimination that we face on a daily basis is no mean feat.
Psophil’s advocacy has brought us to the most remote parts of the country trying to educate the people on the grass roots level about this condition. Our hope is that one day, all psoriasis sufferers can live normally without the fear of being judged and discriminated.
We can only do so much right now. However, we need help to sustain our programs and projects that are aimed to improve the quality of life of our co-sufferers. But unfortunately, it is taking its toll on our volunteers and members who are already spending their own money just to push our advocacy.
On August 20, 2011, we are putting up a concert at the Baypark Area, Service Road of Roxas Boulevard (near Raha Sulayman plaza) billed as PsorRocks to raise funds to ensure that our projects can go on. Several popular bands are playing for free to support us: CallaLily, Slapshock, 6 Cycle Mind, Cueshe, Even, General Luna, Grace Note, Kenyo, Up Darma Down and others. Party music will be played by DJ Buddah after the concert. We seek the support of everyone to allow us to continue our goal of serving the Filipino Psoriasis sufferers. Hope to see you at the concert.
For more details, please call PsorPhil office at 8893596, 3794290, 09228297767"
Twenty more days before the PsorRocks concert, I hope you guys can be part of this advocacy.