A Walk in Malita, Davao Del Sur, Philippines With Ivanhoe Ardiente

HopeForIvanI first met Ivanhoe through AS Facebook friends a couple of years ago. His story & struggles with his fused joints are heart wrenching and inspiring at the same time. Ivanhoe has not only a fully fused back but fusing in one shoulder and both hips. His body has become a cage limiting movement in a way so many cannot even begin to imagine. And yet, his spirit soars – uncaged – it takes flight through his kind acts and most especially through his talent with a paint brush.
Ivan asked me if he could walk for Walk Your A.S. Off and of course my first thought was for his well being. He wanted to walk 3 kilometers (or approximately 3750 steps) down Malita Beach in his town of Davao Del Sur in the Philippines. I had sent him one of our walk decals a while back & he put that on his t-shirt to show his support of our walk & the hope of raising awareness and someday hopefully a cure.
I also want to share some answers to questions he provided so that you may hear from him in his own words.
1. How long ago did you receive your diagnosis of AS? Did you have a difficult time getting a diagnosis? Tell me a little bit about that.
I was diagnosed in the year 1995 and i was 25 then. The first doctor I went to was an orthopedic because I thought my pain problems were in my bones and when the doctor saw no problem with my CT scan he referred me to a Rheumatologist and she was a good doctor for she knew my illness on a day of checking my condition! She found an inflammation on my pelvis at my Xray.
2. What are the challenges of getting good care, medications, & physicians in your country?
I don’t have a proper medication regarding to the drugs that I need for the illness. I have no health care and I have no work.
3. What are your immediate health care needs related to your AS?
I went for a couple session of therapy and have a limited supply of SULFHASALAZINE and a 25g of indomethacin.
4. Why did you decide to join Walk Your A.S. Off?
I decided to join WALK YOUR AS OFF  to bring more awareness in my hometown. I was misdiagnosed by the people that the cause of my illness and my awful mobility was because I was beaten up when I went abroad! Most people don’t know the illness because the common inflammatory arthritis’ knows are rheumatoid and general arthritis but never been heard of AS.
5. What is the general level of awareness of A.S. in your country? Are there organizations supporting people with the disease? If so, what are they? If not, why do you think this is?
The general support is none! Their is none that the government our government can give us a proper attention and I have never heard of an organization helping out! I got 25$ monthly support from social security that was only good for one year and next month it will be cut off!
6. What are your personal goals for the walk?
My goals for the walk? A person with AS just cant sit around and give up the fight. They need to find out how to be as useful as healthy people! I have to let them know I have a proper mindset and giving up is not on the menu!
7. Do you believe we could see a cure for A.S. in you life time?
A cure? I’m not sure. I hope there is!
8. What do you tell someone you meet who has just been diagnosed with A.S.?
If I’m able to meet someone here locally not on FB I would love to tell him that the medication the anti fusion drugs is very expensive so you better stretch out and move that AS if you cannot afford for it!
9. Tell me about Ivan’s Hope!
IVAN’S HOPE! For many reasons! I have no income that can sustain my daily needs specifically my meals! I have a son that i need to support on his education and most of all my cause of helping my poor community. So the earnings of selling my paintings will be wrap into all aspects!
As you can see, Ivan has a great spirit and attitude. For anyone who wishes to support Ivanhoe please visit Ivan’s Hope – his artwork is truly special. Here is a photo of Ivanhoe with the painting I have in my home! And below are some of the many photos Ivanhoe took on his 7500 steps to raise awareness! Please *like* his page and buy a piece of his art if it is in your heart to do so. There are also many videos on his facebook page that share more of Ivan’s story that were put together by Janelle Gingrich-Caudel his dear friend in the US.
IvanhoeMarch1Walk7 IvanhoeMarch1Walk6 IvanhoeMarch1Walk5 IvanhoeMarch1Walk4 IvanhoeMarch1Walk3 IvanhoeMarch1Walk2 IvanhoeMarch1WalkIvanhoeMarch1Walk8

5 thoughts on “A Walk in Malita, Davao Del Sur, Philippines With Ivanhoe Ardiente

  1. Patti Ervin Young says:

    I met Ivanhoe a few months ago; I also have one of his paintings!
    He is an awesome man and I am privileged to be his friend.
    Please, please help Ivanhoe if you can
    Patti Ervin Young

  2. Ivanhoe Ardiente says:

    It’s been a decade that i never walked that far and i was fueled by my inner strength to do so and participate Walk your AS! The outcome of doing it is indeed very joyous walk with my young friends! It is not we only shared awareness to others but also to our selves that giving up is not an option!
    Thank you Jennifer for being supportive and making this walk campaign possible!

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