Single mom in Samar bravely raises 3 boys with the same severe skin condition
The single mom's main helper in caring for her boys is her daughter, who was born without the condition. Learn more about their story, below.
Solo parenting is hard enough, but for Emilie Bandilla of Hernani, Samar it’s been made even more difficult by a severe skin condition, which has afflicted her three sons.
She gave birth to her first child, Jude, on May 2004; doctors diagnosed him to have lamellar ichthyosis, which results in dry, scaly skin all over the body.
After she gave birth to her second child, doctors were stunned to find that her daughter wasn’t born with the same condition. When her two younger brothers were born with the same condition, it confirmed the doctor’s suspicion that it only affected males.
Emilie’s main helper in caring for her three boys is her 11-year-old daughter, June, who said in an interview with Jessica Soho that she will do anything her the love of her three brothers; she dreams of finding a good job one day to help provide for her beloved brothers. The eldest boy is 13 years old but is still in grade 3 due to difficulties with his condition.
The devoted mom, who is currently unemployed, diligently homeschools her youngest boys, JR and Jake, them while the rest of their family helps out to provide their financial needs. Despite the many difficulties of life, the three boys are growing up with a positive and cheerful disposition.
Ichthyosis affects 1 in every 200,000 to 600,000 people worldwide, says a report on Jessica Soho. According to Ichthyosis.org, lamellar ichthyosis is an extremely rare lifelong, severe, skin condition that manifest in scaling or shedding of the skin.
Though Emilie shares they have not experienced any major bullying from neighbors, most of whom are very helpful, it still breaks her heart to see strangers avoiding them thinking her boys’ condition is contagious.
It is absolutely not contagious, according to experts.
Due to this condition, those afflicted lack pores that allow heat to escape from their bodies through sweat. For Emilie’s sons, the heat becomes so unbearable that, during summer, they bathe at least 8 times. Emilie also helps rub mineral oil on their bodies as a way to ease the extreme itching.
Different genetic abnormalities, which are inherited, can lead to this condition. Symptoms appear during the first few days of life. It can be inherited even when both parents have “normal skin” when at least one or both are carriers of the abnormal gene linked to the disease.
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