Mia and Ria: Twice the Blessing
Ten years ago, when identical twins Ria and Mia first came to Cebu Skin Clinic, our partner in the Philippines, they were seven years old. They had been suffering from persistent skin rashes. Ria had a lesion on her left arm, and Mia had one on her left cheek. It was leprosy.
Says Ria, “All I remember is that after talking to the doctor, teary-eyed, mother suddenly embraced us. We were puzzled. Then she told us that we both had a skin disease. She said we might have been infected by our older sister. At that time, we didn’t understand what she was saying because we were still too young to understand.”
Thanks to your compassionate support, the twins received the cure for leprosy and ongoing treatment, free of charge. Says Ria, “I remember that my parents were both delighted to know that we need not spend a dime to get cured. For a financially struggling family like us, it was great news.”
Life with Leprosy
“During treatment, we were doing okay until a month later when the rashes became more prominent,” continues Ria. “The relentless remarks and queries from people always caught us off guard. It was so difficult because we had no ready answers for them. Because my skin rash was in the arm that could easily be hidden by sleeved shirts, I seldom had people’s attention.”
“It was a different story for Mia who had hers on the face. Everyone took notice of her. Though I didn’t struggle the way she did, still it was difficult for me to see her suffer. All the while, I also felt her pain.”
Then Mia says, “I was hurt because people always commented about the big lesion on my face. Friends would always tease me. Some would even bad-mouth about my looks. Fortunately, Ria was always there to defend and protect me. And my family was very supportive since day one.”
“Prayers did wonders too. It gave us the needed strength to face everything.”
Childhood Dreams Come True
Now 17 years old, the twins are currently enrolled as college freshmen in a bachelor’s degree program in elementary education. Teaching children how to read and write is a passion they both share and have nurtured since childhood.
Mia says, “Oh, we have so many plans ahead. Leprosy is already a thing in the past, so we are now moving on to hit our dreams. It is our childhood wish to become teachers one day, so we will work hard on that.”
“We really love to teach kids. We believe that the best way to serve God is through them.”
Looking back, when asked about lessons learned from the past, Mia and Ria reply, “It’s accepting God’s will without complaint. Just face life’s adversities the best way we could and keep learning from it. After all, nothing can go wrong with God and family at hand.”
Thank you for your faithful support and for blessing these two beautiful young women with healing, love and hope.
Your gifts are transforming the lives of people like Mia and Ria every day. Thank you!