He is 32 years old, he is a Senior Technician in Dietetics and for five years he has been facing this disease with total integrity.
When was the disease detected?
On April 21, 2012. I was giving a course here, in La Zarza and when I wanted to walk home I couldn’t, I was going from side to side. I called my father, he picked me up halfway and we went directly to the hospital.
How did you receive the diagnosis?
At first with relief. I remember that the doctor told me that she had a lot of strength and that she had assimilated the diagnosis very well. My reaction was to say: we already know what it’s called, what it has, so let’s go for it!
Were you expecting the results?
I knew there was something wrong with me, since it wasn’t normal for me to lead a healthy life and have so many things happening to me. Of course, I never thought it would be a chronic disease, much less a degenerative one.
What symptoms did you have?
Well, I had been having symptoms for years. But every time I went to my doctor, they always diagnosed it as stress, prescribed muscle relaxants, and little else. At first I had paralysis in my right arm, then in my face and, finally, paralysis in my left leg, which was the trigger for my diagnosis.
How did it change your life?
At first I resisted any change in my life, so 15 days after the diagnosis of the disease, I returned to my work and the issues I had. Today, I can say that it has taken a 180 degree turn.
How did your family react?
Well, wrapping me up and supporting me at all times. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
When did you tell your friends?
To my friends, it took me longer to tell them. I didn’t know how to do it nor did I find the right time.
What is your daily activity like?
My day to day life is to get up, see the limitations I have and try to adapt to them, do the things I can and postpone the rest. I have understood with experience that it is important in this disease not to reach the maximum. The only thing that is achieved is to get worse.
What is the worst moment you have had?
When the medications didn’t work for me, when every time they gave me a new one I had side effects and no improvement,… The worst thing was that the disease continued to advance and the treatments were increasingly stronger, with what that entailed.
Where do you get your strength from on a day-to-day basis?
Well, from the people I have around me, from always having a project, a dream,… If all this fails you, it is very difficult to carry on day to day.
What state is the disease currently in?
It has currently been paralyzed. I have had no signs of activity in either the brain or the spinal cord since August 2014. This is very positive because as it is a degenerative disease, it means that it does not progress today. In the latest tests, only the previously produced lesions manifested but none new and none with activity.
What points do you cling to to continue in the fight?
Because everything works out, because there is a solution for everything, one way or another; because my illness is paralyzed. I focus on doing everything possible to alleviate as much as possible the consequences left by the outbreaks.
How do you face the future?
Well, with enthusiasm and optimism. I try to live a life adapted to my limitations, although this has been difficult to assimilate at times. I try not to make too many plans for the future and therefore, live day to day.
He recently organized a successful charity gala. Is society aware?
The problem lies in misinformation, not in society’s awareness itself. It is a disease about which little is known. In fact, it is called “the thousand faces” because it manifests itself differently to each person.
Do you think that the research will bear fruit in the future?
Well, I think that today there is more research than before and proof of this is that, despite there being no treatment to cure it, there are a variety of drugs to paralyze progress. That is why I feel that we are getting closer and it is so important to invest in research. Thanks to the latest drugs, people who suffer from sclerosis have a better quality of life.
What is the positive side of your situation? What do you value most?
The disease has taught me valuable lessons. It has taught me to enjoy small pleasures like walking, and to enjoy the people I have around me.
Do you want to add anything else? What would you say to people who read or listen to your words?
That it doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in or what problem you have, even if at this moment you see that there is no solution, don’t lose hope. You have to wake up every day with enthusiasm and look around you. Only then will you realize all the people who are with you, supporting you. Because if you don’t fight, you’ve already lost. Because giving up is not an option!