Kuya Kim's battle against Guillain-Barre Syndrome - an inspiring story

Alejandro Ilagan Atienza known professionally as Kim Atienza or Kuya Kim was born January 6, 1967. He is a Filipino television host, actor, weather anchor and a former politician. He is the eldest son of former Mayor of Manila, Lito Atienza.

He started his broadcasting career in the early 1990s, as the anchor of "Mata ng Agila", an early morning newscast of DZEC Radyo Agila 1062 He started his stint on TV when he began hosting Magandang Umaga, Pilipinas' Animalandia.


He then became ABS-CBN's weather tracker for TV Patrol until he became the show's resident weatherman. He left the early morning show, Umagang Kay Ganda in 2009 to host the late morning variety show It's Showtime and began hosting Matanglawin on March 24, 2008.

In 2013, Kim Atienza, often referred to as Kuya Kim, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes paralysis and loss of reflexes, during his training for his supposedly first full Ironman in Australia.

“In the middle of training, I realized that I could not move my hands. They were paralyzed. The next day, after my run program, I could not wiggle my toes. I went to my doctor, and I was told that I have Guillain-Barre Syndrome,” said Atienza.

Blessing in disguise

Atienza was told that he could’ve been totally paralyzed if he was not diagnosed early. He took it as God’s blessing. According to him, he went to the hospital to seek medical attention, which prevented the condition from aggravating.

“I saw something positive in it because it changed me. I realized that the motto of Ironman is I can. While training for my first full Ironman, I kept on telling myself that I can do it. But that afternoon, in the ICU, when I could not even move my hands and feet, I realized that I can’t. I knew, right there and then, that there’s nothing I can do; it’s only God—God can. So, I changed my motto and, it became God can because of that experience,” he added.


Taking control of his health

The TV personality shared that the condition is self-limiting. “It will heal itself but, you have to take the medicine. It’s called IVIG Immunoglobulin. I was in the ICU for more than a week,” he said.

More than healing the autoimmune disorder, Atienza explained that it is very important to avoid it by strengthening your immune system.

“Santé Barley is the perfect supplement to strengthen your immune system, especially for athletes like me. Our immune system can get very low, especially if the training is strenuous. So, to supplement it with barley products from Santé is great,” he added.


On finding purpose

When Atienza was younger, he admitted to being haughty, thinking that he’s a great guy and that everything is within his power. But, this perspective changed when he got sick. He explained that there were two turning points in his life. The first was in 2010 when he suffered from a stroke and then, in 2013 when he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

“Suffering from a stroke made me physically born again. It made me decide to become an athlete, a marathoner, a triathlete, and an Ironman because I was so afraid that it will happen to me again. I became so healthy,” he said. “But, at the fittest point in my life, when I was the healthiest Kuya Kim I can be, I got paralyzed. Yun pala God had a plan for me. The plan was for me to be spiritually born again. I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Source of all my power—I can’t, but only God can,” he said.

Atienza also shared that it is important to trust God, and believe that all things work well for those who love him, and those who obey his commands.

“Sometimes, when we’re sick. We think that it’s a catastrophe. It’s something that is so bad that we’ll be ruined or that our life will go down the drain. That’s not true. When we’re sick, think of it as if you are driving a car and you can’t see 10 meters ahead because it’s foggy—that’s your sickness—and you think that you’re going nowhere,” he said.

However, he knows his purpose in life now, saying that, “my purpose in life is simple. It used to be ambition. It used to be the best TV personality I can be. And, it even used to be the best father. But, it now all comes with accepting Jesus Christ. If you seek the kingdom, then all else will be added.”

Atienza is a regular user of Santé Barley, the certified organic barley grass from Santé New Zealand. Santé believes in helping people live better lives so they can be more than they can be for themselves and their loved ones. Thus, allowing them to live more and do more.

To know more about Santé and its other products, visit their website at https://main.santebarley.com.

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