Teen twins Miguel and Marco Antonio chose to be donors in new hemophilia studies in Boston Children’s Hospital, in a move to advance the study on the illness they had all their lives.
The Antonio twins were born in Dumaguete and lived a careful lifestyle since any cut or bruise would trigger large swelling or persistent bleeding, as is the nature of hemophilia A.
They were carefully brought up since the treatment and medicine were difficult to find in the Philippines. When they were ten, their mother Myrish Cadapan-Antonio, was accepted into Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government master’s program, and the family moved to Boston.
There, the twins received intensive treatment from the Boston Hemophilia Center under the Boston Children’s Hospital. Now, they’re less afraid of living their lives to the fullest and have become brilliant students and athletes in their school.
As young as they still are, they have followed the progress of a gene therapy study for treating hemophilia A, and plan to join once they come of age and the treatment proves safe. They already volunteered to give samples for another treatment study based in the Children’s Hospital.
Miguel says, “We want to do everything we can to advance research in hemophilia,” as the advancement in treatment would hopefully assist hemophilic children in the future, especially disadvantaged ones.
The Antonio twins say they think of fellow Filipino patients who couldn’t get access to the treatment they were lucky to receive.
There come great comfort and insight from survivor stories or stories of people who lived with illness and overcame it. Another such account is reporter Howie Severino’s “I am Patient 2828,” a testimony of his realizations when he battled COVID 19. Another is overseas Filipino student, Kelly Abagat, who also survived coronavirus disease while studying in Germany.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the Antonio twins for sharing their recovery story and pledging to help treatment research for other patients with hemophilia.
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