Bea Santiago: “Akala ko lang kasi po allergies kasi …”
BEA SANTIAGO – The Miss International 2013 titleholder recently spoke about her journey surviving kidney disease.
To recall, Bea Santiago was diagnosed with “IgA Nephropathy” when she was only 16 years old.
“IgA Nephropathy”, according to the Mayo Clinic, occurs when immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in one’s kidneys, resulting in local inflammation that, over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.
Bea said in an interview with Butch Francisco that the first symptoms she experienced at that time was having allergies. Years later, she shared that her kidney disease lead to end-stage renal failure.
According to the Miss International 2013 titleholder, she relocated to Canada in order for her to focus on her recovery.
“The first time (dialysis) was overwhelming… Umiiyak ako,” Bea said.
It was last year when she had a kidney transplant and her younger brother donated his kidney to her at that time.
Bea went on to thank her younger brother for extending her life and she’s forever grateful. She also said that her younger brother gifted her “something more than an organ, but also a grateful heart”, adding that she can’t wait to see what life has to offer.
Aside from this, the Miss International 2013 titleholder also shared a message for fellow kidney patients.
“Always choose positive. Walang mangyayari sa atin kung ‘yung negative papasok sa brain natin, nakaka-toxic din siya,” Bea said. “When you put that here (points to head), it goes around [your body].“