TERENGGANU - For the past 32 years, Md Rahim Jatim bravely endured a rare skin disease called neurofibromatosis which caused his whole body to be covered with bunches of grape-like nodules.
When the condition started to emerge at the age of 25, he desperately sought modern and traditional treatment in a vain effort to stop the growth which hampered his movement and speech.
To make matters worse, he became wheelchair-bound after his left leg failed to heal after being crushed by a fallen tree five years ago.
Now, at the age of 57, Rahim said he still nurtured a dim hope that a cure could be found to treat not only him but his three children.
Although his two sons aged 17 and 13, and 6-year-old daughter are not affected, he was told by doctors that they could develop the disease later in life. When met at his home in Kampung Jerung Seberang here recently, Rahim said he relied on the RM750 (S$312) monthly aid from the Welfare Department to feed his family.
"I am used to being stared at or seeing shock and pity on people's faces, and I wish I could spare my children the same fate. I am resigned to my fate but I still have hope of finding a cure."
Rahim said he was grateful for the medicinal herbal products from a private company which had helped him walk again.
His wife Maimunah Mat Ali, however, said she was not put off by Rahim's disfigurement.