Just last year, Christian Villanueva was a healthy, happy, normal boy. He had just graduated from kinder, and was ready to enter the first grade.
This past June however, after three weeks of school, Christian decided that he didn’t want to go to school anymore because of the mocking and oppression that he received.
At the tender age of 6, Christian looks as if he had aged rapidly. Christian’s hair has fallen out, even his eyebrows and most of his eye lashes.
Christian suffers from Alopecia Universalis, a condition that causes his hair to fall out and prevents it from growing properly.
What is most painful for Christian’s family, especially his mom Maria Theresa, is that this condition has dramatically changed Christian’s life. Aside from not wanting to go to school, Christian also fears having to leave the house and play with children like him because of the ridicule that he gets because of his unusual appearance. “Masakit kasi para sa isang ina yung makikita mo siya tuwing umaga, paggising mo, mamumulatan mo ang anak mo, ganoon ang itsura niya... ‘Pag nakikita mo ‘yong anak mong ganoon, may naririnig ka, masasaktan ka... (It’s so painful for a mother that when you wake up in the morning and you see that your child looks like that...you see your child like that, and you hear people talking about it, it hurts you...)”
The youngest of 4 children, Christian is the only one who suffers from this condition. All his siblings have a full head of hair, which leads the Villanueva family to wonder what’s wrong with their youngest member.
According to Aling Theresa, they’ve already consulted with doctors and followed instructions to apply whatever medication that they prescribed to Christian’s scalp. Instead of helping the child’s condition, however, it only irritated his scalp causing it to at times swell and rash. They’ve even put masking tape with a prayer on Christian’s head because according to an Albularyo (Herb Doctor), Christian was a victim of Nuno (mischievous elves).
Another difficulty that the Villanuevas face is that they are having financial difficulties. Mang Rodolfo, the sole breadwinner of the family, works as a caretaker for a house. He only makes so much, not enough to afford sending Christian from Paharang, Batangas to Manila so that he can be seen by specialists.
With help from Failon Ngayon, Christian was able to be brought to Manila to be checked up at the Dermatological Center of St. Luke’s Medical Center.
More than the loss of his hair, what’s more difficult for Christian are the effects of the teasing that he receives because of his condition.
Though it is difficult to cure the condition that Christian has, it’s more important that he undergoes psychological therapy. With the help of the Neurotherapy Center, Philippines, he is getting the help that he needs in order to restore the energy, enthusiasm, and self-confidence that he once had. Another thing is that he must be able to work around his condition, and not let that be a hindrance to his overall personality and not let it be a hindrance to him discovering the great things that he may possess within him.
Even though Aling Theresa can breathe a little easier knowing that there is a lot of hope for Christian, she still asks those with kind hearts to extend their hand in help for the young one in need. October 16, 2010
For Donations, you may contact Failon Ngayon at +632 415 2272, local 5314 and email at [email protected]