Senior high grad dedicates award to mother living with MS

Jhun Dantes

Posted at Apr 18 2019 10:15 PM | Updated as of Apr 21 2019 01:42 PM

Eighteen-year-old Jose Angelo Villafuerte graduated senior high with honors at Cainta Catholic College.

He dedicates his award to his 54-year-old mother Angel who is living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. Its cause is unknown. In the case of MS, this immune system malfunction destroys the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.

Angel is the strategy, research, and planning director of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, a non-stock, non-government organization providing services to persons with disabilities (PWD). She was diagnosed with MS in 1991.

"We tried various traditional treatments, even alternative and contemporary treatments for my wife, for possible miracle but we always ended on nothing," her husband Joseph said.

Angel has been living with progressive MS for 27 years.

“I want to take biology course," Jose Angelo said.

He has passed the University of the Philippines (Manila campus) entrance exam. Far Eastern University has also offered a scholarship to Jose Angelo.

Jose Angelo was a scholar of Cainta Catholic College. 
 
Despite the disability of Angel, she's trying to be productive and help the other persons at Tahanang Walang Hagdanan. 

On average, most people with MS live about seven years less than the general population. Those with MS tend to die from many of the same conditions, such as cancer and heart disease, as people who don't have the condition. Apart from cases of severe MS, which are rare, the prognosis for longevity is generally good.

Angel Villafuerte (2nd right) joins a meeting with several officers at the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan in Cainta, Rizal on April 5, 2019. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Angel (left) works with Janice Luranang at the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan in Cainta, Rizal. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Angel Villafuerte is assisted by her husband Joseph and daughter Johanne to board a car to attend the graduation of her son Jose Angelo on April 8, 2019. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

The Villafuerte couple on their way to Cainta Catholic College for the graduation of their son Jose Angelo in Cainta, Rizal. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

The Villafuerte family enters the school to attend the graduation of Jose Angelo in Cainta, Rizal. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

The Villafuerte family poses for picture before the start of the graduation ceremony. In the picture are Jose Angelo (left), Johanne (center), Joseph (right), and Angel (on wheelchair) at the Cainta Catholic College in Cainta, Rizal. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Jose Angelo is accompanied by his father Joseph at Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Angel Villafuerte watches her son's graduation ceremony at Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Jose Angelo Villafuerte (right) receives his diploma from the Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Jose Angelo Villafuerte (4th from left) with the 420 other graduates during the graduation ceremony at Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Angel Villafuerte gets emotional as her son Jose Angelo gives her a flower during the graduation ceremony at Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Angel Villafuerte cries after her son Jose Angelo gives her a flower during the graduation ceremony at Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Jose Angelo Villafuerte takes his oath during the graduation ceremony at Cainta Catholic College in Cainta. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News

Jose Angelo Villafuerte poses with his mother Angel after receiving his award during the graduation ceremony at Cainta Catholic College. Jhun Dantes, ABS-CBN News