Hello, my name is Carlos. I am Brazilian, but right now I live in Bolivia, where I study medicine. My father was diagnosed with diffuse systemic scleroderma about eight months ago. At first everything was really complicated, the symptoms had doctors puzzled and he had to go from doctor to doctor searching for answers while I, in another country, suffered because I could not be by his side.
My father is a simple man, he works the land, and does not have a great degree of schooling, but if there is something he has been taught is to never give up. When I went back to my country on vacations, I could finally be with him and we finally got to a correct diagnosis. I was really taken aback by the news, even if I am in direct and everyday touch with this type of situation. He was a bit altered, but his strength and pride would never let him stop fighting. He always said he would fight for his health and his life.
Now he is getting treatment. He must travel to the capital of our department in Brazil every month, to get the medicine. We always speak with him and every day he shows more happiness and strength. He is fighting all the adversities that are coming his way. This leaves me so relieved, knowing that he will not give up, that he will continue fighting until better days come along!
This experience has done something good, it has brought us closer, it has bonded us as father and son, but also as friends. And as a health care professional, it has opened my eyes to this illness which is rare and oftentimes left aside; I am creating a Help Group to patients with Systemic Sclerodermia in the Bolivian city where I live, so I can give them the same hope and good expectations that my father has given me. Thank you, and to all of you, strength, courage, everything will be fine!