Miss International 2013 bares kidney failure, need for 'life-saving' transplant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 20) — Miss International 2013 and Philippines' very own beauty queen Bea Rose Santiago revealed she is suffering from kidney failure.

The 28-year-old actress-beauty queen updated her Instagram followers on Wednesday, the last day of her hospital dialysis.

In August, Santiago shared that she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which she claimed was the result of her intense "gym life." She then she headed to Tokyo in Japan to seek for a second opinion, where doctors confirmed her sickness.

She added she then flew to Toronto, Canada to meet with her family and "potential kidney donors."

"Kinda have kidney failure... Yes, I will be needing a life saving transplant. I live because of a machine, my dialysis machine, and the doctors and nurses at Home Hemo Dialysis Center in Toronto General," Santiago wrote on Instagram, accompanied by her filtered photo with a catheter attached to her chest.

In another post, she revealed her brutal travels to the hospital and excruciating dialysis to remove the waste, salt, and extra water that her kidney cannot expel on its own.

"For the past 3 and a half months I've been coming to this hospital, 4 times a week, 5 hrs a day. I wake up 5:30 or 6am travel 2 hrs and set my machine up. It tested my whole being. I took uber, lyft, go trains, YRT and ttc to get to the hospital. It tested my patience, confidence in myself, my faith and my family," she wrote.

She said the acceptance of her sickness in an ongoing process of acceptance.

"It tested my patience, confidence in myself, my faith, and my family. I have shitty days where I allow myself to feel pity, sad, and angry towards myself (usually weekly) but I lift myself up, listen to Queen and dance naked," she wrote.

But Santiago remains positive amid all the trials.

"I am blessed and I will continue to spread positivity to the world. I am in a good place now but my heart isn't. It's not easy and will only get harder!" she wrote.

Santiago remains her bubbly self, as evidenced by the black toga she brought and wore on her "graduation day" from the hospital dialysis. She will continue with her dialysis at home.

"God wanted me to live so He made me go to the ER for my migraines. He gave me friends who are too loving, they can be saints, and a family and best friends that's willing to share their organs without me forcing them," she said.

She appealed to the public to have themselves checked regularly even without showing symptoms of kidney failure, such as swollen ankles, puffy face, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and weak and painful bones, among others.

"I am not asking for sympathy I am asking for awareness...I am lucky and I am loved! Bad kidneys can kiss my @$$!" she said.