Cambodian religious leader Ben Shappiro is hoping that he’ll be remembered for his “sacred” role in protecting the people of Cambodia from a mysterious disease.
Shapiro’s health was deteriorating after years of battling kidney disease, and he decided to leave the country in 2009, only to return in December, the country’s foreign ministry announced on Monday.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, Shapir said that he wanted to be known as a hero because he was the one who helped Cambodia cope with the virus.
Cambodians had never known about the mysterious disease, which left hundreds of thousands with chronic kidney failure and death.
But it took Shapira five months to track down a medical facility and find an expert, and a month for a hospital to admit him.
“There were times I didn’t want to go home,” ShapIRO told CNN.
“And I thought, if I don’t go home, I won’t be able to survive.”
Shapir, 64, said that his mother and father also suffered from kidney disease and died at a young age.
He believes that the virus was passed on from mother to son by their infected grandparents.
Shippiro was born in the village of Phang Nai in the Khmer capital Phnom Penh in 1954.
He was the first in his family to graduate from high school.
He later joined the army and became an engineer, serving as a commander of the National Guard.
Shapaniro’s family moved to Phnom Prabang, where he became a missionary.
His father was a professor of history and philosophy at the University of the People’s Republic of China (UPIC), and his mother was a nun.
Shaptiro is now in Cambodia for an annual conference of Cambodian monks called the Siam Conference, where monks gather to pray and meditate together.
“My prayers are with all the Cambodian people,” he told CNN on Sunday.
“I hope that the disease that I’m battling is not going to cause me any more problems.”
The world has known about Shapmiros disease since 2014, when the country was hit by a major coronavirus outbreak.
The disease has now spread to other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe, where people have become increasingly afraid.
Shaprim is now the world’s highest-ranking doctor who has treated people with the disease.
He said that the people who were cured from the disease have been the “most wonderful and most generous people I have met.”