Dystonia is a movement disorder like twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal fixed postures caused by sustained or repetitive muscle contractions. The disorder is inherited or caused by physical injury, infection, poisoning or reaction to pharmaceutical drugs.
There are various types of dystonia. One of them is X-linked dystonia parkinsonism (XDP), which occurs during the age of 30s and 40s and progresses later into parkinsonism, which is characterized by tremors, slow movement and stiffness.
In the Philippines, XDP cases mostly involved men from Panay island, particularly Capiz province, for still unknown reason. One of them happens to be a member of the Metropolitan Mountaineering Society, a local mountaineering training camp.
Atty. JP Anthony Cuñada joined the MMS last year and was at the height of his outdoor adventures when he was diagnosed with XDP. The condition caused him to struggle in biking, climbing and trekking until he was forced to suspend his activities to get medical relief for his muscle pains.
With support from family, friends, relatives, colleagues and fellow MMS members, JP raised enough funds to undergo a very expensive deep brain stimulation, wherein two microchips were implanted in his brain to control his involuntary muscle movements.
JP is now back to biking, climbing and trekking. Recently, he embarked on a personal campaign to raise awareness on dystonia and raise funds for medicines for three people with dystonia. The campaign involves biking from his home in Pasig City to his hometown in Capiz.
With his MMS buddy accompanying him, he completed the trip with other bikers joining him along the way in the different provinces he traveled for moral support. Congratulations, Attorney JP.
JP’s newfound power to overcome his XDP comes from sheer personal guts to live life to the fullest and from the enduring encouragement of his friends from MMS.