Lupus Story

Lupus Story: Tiffany Uy

“Lagi ka na lang naoospital ah.” “Bakit parang lagi ka na lang pilay?” “PWD ka? Ano ba disability mo?” “If you’re so sick, why don’t you just stay home??”
In 2010, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and life was never the same. When I entered UP I thought I could adjust to the stress and handle a minimum workload of 15 units. In my first year, I was in the student council, enjoyed doing projects, and joined my first rally. My sickness worsened and I was scared of telling my professors and classmates how sick I felt. I would go to school with bandages on my knees and ankles. As the semester progressed I gave up going to class because I could barely walk. I was losing a lot of hair and my body was always bloated because of the steroids and other medications.
From UP Manila I transferred to UP Diliman. I thought that I would succeed in living a normal life but I still continued to lag in my studies and was forced to drop subjects because I was flaring (active Lupus sickness) and couldn’t walk again. I was advised to enroll in the Open University but I was determined to take another semester. I took the risk of continuing my studies because I wanted to make friends and possibly live the regular student life.
People would continue to ask, “Ano plano mo after graduating?” I would feel shy and just tell them that my goal was to finish the semester with the regular load (low expectations). It was a lot of pressure to be named “Tiffany Uy” to be honest. I felt insecure and could only dream to be as awesome as Tiffy Uy (fangirling inside). Towards the end of each semester, my health would decline and I was too scared to talk to my professors. I was too scared to tell my friends. I would gradually just disappear from each class.
As more semesters passed, I learned to ask my professors if I could do extra work to make up for my absences. Although I was really embarrassed to ask for help, I got the courage to ask my friends to tutor me in subjects I missed out on. I asked for power points, seat works and kindly begged for the time to be tutored. Thank you to my friends who pushed me to get through each sem. Thank you to my tutors August, Kuya Lexter and Carlos.
Di ako nakuntento and I wanted to do more with my life so I ran for the student council (yes crazy si atey.) The responsibility of being in the council challenged me to improve my health and keep up with my studies. It was hella stressful but also fun and exciting. I want to thank 24th and 25th for inspiring me to be more patient and teaching me to work hard without expecting anything in return because we do it for NCPAG and UP with love.
Thank you to the staff of NCPAG and OUR. Thank you for always greeting me with a smile and being so helpful all the time. You the real MVP guys <3
Thank you to my teachers, Momma Carlos and Professors. Thank you for giving me second, third, and fourth chances. Thank you to Dean Mendoza and Ma’am Cuaresma for checking up on me and my health. Thank you for the advice and guidance to improve the services and projects of the council.
Thank you to my dorm fam who did not get tired of my rants and looked after me when I could barely get out of bed. I will miss you both my little sisters.
Thank you to Nath, Zai, Jude and Alwin who kept my heart whole when things fell apart. Thank you to Boom, Arvin, Dex, Jeannine, Kyle, Kakai, and Meera for being the biggest and best support system, and tolerating my weirdness. Thank you to IGNITE for showing me that I can make friends and grow as a person.
Thank you to all the new friends I gained and the old friends that stayed with me through the years. Will always value our friendship. <3
Thank you to my doctors especially Dr. Bernal, Dr. Rodriguez, and Dra. Rodriguez. I would not be alive today (literally) without your care. Thank you to all the nurses, med techs and health care personnel who made my Lupus life better with your services.
Thank you to my mother, father, and younger brother. Thank you to my extended fam from all over the world. <3 Thank you for allowing me to stay at the dorm when I had work to do. Thank you for bringing me to the doctor and hospital. Thank you for the support. We made it guys.
To Ralph, thank you for borrowing books from the library for me when I couldn’t walk. Thank you for going to school early to help me walk to class. Thank you for running from Bio to AS 3rd floor to pick me from class because I couldn’t go down the stairs on my own. Thank you for the love.
To all the good samaritans who offered to help me to go up and down the stairs. Thank you. To all the people who asked if I was okay. I did not want to feel alone. Thank you to the One looking after me from up there. When I felt the weakest, I found strength in You.
To all the P.W.Ds out there, I know we may differ in circumstances but I hope we don’t stop building bigger dreams for ourselves. Thank you for your stories of strength and perseverance. We are all strong <3
UP humbled me with experiences that further challenged my intellectual capacity, strength of character, and ability to persevere against all odds. We are trained to ask questions, engage our professors in healthy discourse, and are confronted with realities that help us understand the struggles of different sectors. We are shown that we have the ability to create our own opportunities and we learn to laugh at ourselves because we are a work in progress. UP shapes each of us to become leaders in the service of the university and the nation. Maraming salamat UP!
TIFFANY ANNE ALICER UY B Public Administration Batch 2017 Cum Laude

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