My name is Raquel Abreu.
One of the ideas that best describes me is that of a person who has overcome, against all medical opinions, a serious and disabling illness.
The lack of scientific knowledge in Portugal about the disease I had led me to move to London where I stayed for five years. I devoted myself with all heart and soul to the search of medical solutions and indeed found them.
My experience made me realize that in my country there is a lack of support for patients with severe, chronic and rare diseases.
When patients are diagnosed with complex medical conditions, they feel disoriented, confused, weak and defenceless. In these situations one medical opinion is not enough: we need to seek other medical professionals that can validate and re-evaluate what we were told. We also need to know what is done in other countries and get in contact with other patients and hear their testimonials.
Both my experience as a patient and as a helper to others in similar situations, grew in me the will to dedicate myself full time to the job of Patient Advocate in January 2013.
Since then I’ve helped many patients find treatments for their illnesses in Portugal and abroad.
One of the sentences that most motivates me in life is: “the impossible is just the untried”.
De paciente a Patient Advocate