Testimony: António Pereira, music teacher

Jun 17, 2021 | Scleroderma, Scleroderma Day

My father said: “Those are the shorts that touch your leg and make that mark.” My father said.

But my grandmother said:  “No… this doesn’t seem right… This isn’t good..”

And she took me to the doctor. It was the summer of ’71.

“It was perhaps eczema”, the doctor said. “With this cream, it will go away.”

But it didn’t!

I went to a place called Palhavã, where my cousin Rosa was a nurse. She came from the doctor’s office visibly altered and talked separately to my parents. It was serious. Very serious. She immediately made a phone call to schedule an appointment with a very good doctor.

The doctor looked very well, tried the hot and the cold, asked if I felt the diapason twitching… it was scleroderma. Serious thing. Very serious!

The world collapsed on my parents’ shoulders and on mine, as I listened to everything behind the door. But I remember thinking, “No way! I’ll fight back.”

And I have resisted. It is true that I have developed a very light form of the disease, but it is also true that I have developed in myself the ability to fight with all the strength that I sometimes didn’t have.

I am 60 years old. It was only a few years ago that I met another person with the same disease. I have lived, alone, for about 40 years, fighting!

I have two beautiful children, a wonderful granddaughter and a wife who has been by my side for 40 years. I am a music teacher, and I am recognized by everyone for my work. I am happy and nobody can take that away from me.

I think I have won!!!!

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