Emmeline Aglipay-Villar. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines —
Emmeline Aglipay-Villar has turned upside down her moments of fear and weakness into a spring of hope
– not just for herself but also for others who may have been feeling pushed down by a misery called lupus.
She established the non-profit Hope for Lupus Foundation to raise awareness about this mysterious lifelong condition in the country, and promote the early detection as well as the proper treatment of the disease.
In partnership with Gavel&Block by Salcedo Auctions, the Hope for Lupus Foundation will hold an online “benefit” auction on Saturday, October 16, via salcedoauctions.com.
At 25, the wife of former Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar was faced with an onslaught of seemingly unrelated health crises. What began with skin rashes developed into joint pain and then came the indescribable fatigue, hair loss, and dizziness — all of which the then young lawyer chalked up to stress.
Like most lupus patients, it took time for her to receive a proper diagnosis. Apart from the varied symptoms a lupus patient can experience, there are only a handful of specialists for the condition in the country.
After Villar learned of her diagnosis, she dove headfirst into learning all she could about lupus, putting in hours upon hours of research as she felt strongly that her fellow Filipinos should be better equipped to deal with the invisible illness. Eventually, she decided to create the Hope for Lupus Foundation.
Lupus is a chronic and life-long autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system turns on itself and attacks the organs, mistaking them as foreign and harmful. Over 5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with lupus. Realistically, this statistic can be even higher since a number of lupus cases remain undiagnosed. Even though this condition can affect people of all ages, races, and ethnicities, there is still a significant lack of understanding and awareness around this condition.
The Hope for Lupus Foundation has worked together with Gavel&Block by Salcedo Auctions, which “benefit” auctions over the past four years have raised millions of pesos for the charities and non-profit organizations that it supports.
The auction will feature close to 100 lots, with proceeds helping to support the Hope for Lupus Foundation’s work in the illness’ early detection and proper treatment. Among the lots going under the gavel are works by leading contemporary Filipino visual artists such as Emmanuel Garibay, Raffy Napay, Jigger Cruz, Alfredo Esquillo, Jr., Manuel Ocampo, Daniel dela Cruz, Winner Jumalon, and Olan Ventura. Also going under the hammer are sterling silver pieces from Cartier and Tiffany & Co., fine Baccarat and Lalique crystal, as well as jewelry by Riqueza and Janina Dizon.
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