The DOJ undersecretary did not let lupus get in her way of living the best life. She wants the same for others.
by Kitty Elicay . Aug 21, 2018
Emmeline Villar, who has been working in public service for 10 years, was diagnosed with lupus at 25 years old, but she did not disclose it to anyone in Congress where she was a DIWA party list-representative. She eventually revealed her secret to her future husband, Mark Villar, who was also a neophyte representative back then (he is currently the Secretary of Public Works and Highways).
Lupus is an auto-immune disease where a person’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs, damaging various body systems like joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. When caught early, it is manageable, but it is life threatening to women who are pregnant. That’s why Emmeline’s doctors essentially told her to give up on pregnancy when she and Mark embarked on their life together as a married couple.
Emmeline, however, had defied the odds. While she did almost lose her life due to lupus complications when she became pregnant, she is now a proud mom to Emma, 2 years old. That new lease on life is what has inpsired her to help those who are suffering from the same disease.
On December 2016, Emmeline launched Hope for Lupus to give those with lupus a fighting chance at life and end the preconceived notions people had about the disease.
“I want to help people who are indigent and who can’t afford the treatment,” Emmeline shares with SmartParenting.com.ph. “Having lupus — it’s forever. And they don’t know who to turn to.”