This is part of our new series, ‘Khaas Log’, that highlights the extraordinary people within our community who are inspiring with even the smallest acts of bravery, kindness and generosity that they spread around them.
Everyone makes a big deal about not being able to follow their dreams because something else came up or because the time wasn’t right. But you know what? There’s never a perfect time for anything. Life can throw so many different obstacles at you, and it’s all just in your head when you’re unable to achieve that goal you’ve set for yourself. This girl from Lahore is an inspiration for just that reason because she perseveres despite her inability to speak because of a crippling neurological movement disorder.
“I hate excuses. If you want to do something, just do it,” says Fatima Hasan who lost her voice and posture at the age of 10 but is now a successful, vibrant person who’s spreading so much joy all around her
Fatima Hasan was born a normal kid. At the age of 10, she was affirmed with a rare neuro-muscular disease named “Dystonia” which affected her trunk, neck, and right leg. Around two years later, the disease traveled to her vocal cords; she developed “Dysphonia” and almost lost her voice.
From there on, it was all about diagnosis, visits to the hospital, struggling to make her mark in this rather apathetic world, patience and lots of determination.
Fatima communicates by writing on her iPad or her cell phone.
Fatima is a tiny ball of happiness that makes you super ecstatic instantaneously, just by being around her.
After Fatima was diagnosed with Dystonia, her mother took it upon herself to make sure that Fatima never feels alienated.
“I would constantly tell her that if someone gets frustrated by all the wait that they have to go through while you’re typing out whatever you’ve to say, don’t take it to your heart. If they genuinely want to talk to you, they will wait,” told Fatima’s mother who has been her pillar of strength throughout.
When she applied for higher education, Fatima says she was rejected by one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, just because she was differently-abled. Fatima did take the rejection to her heart but being the person that she is, she never gave up.
She eventually got into Beaconhouse National University but the first year was hard. She did not have any friends and no one really knew about her disability. Fatima had to work extra hard to make her mark and guess what, she did.
Fatima is remembered by her peers for her go-getter attitude and the ability to manage so many different things
She’s just an ordinary girl from Lahore and she has managed to soar to new heights despite the extra set of challenges she faces.
Fatima’s friends have told MangoBaaz that Fatima is forever there for her friends.”She’ll be there for you even when you don’t need her,” joked Nida, a friend of Fatima’s upon which Fatima burst out laughing
“Whenever she decides to do something, she won’t listen to anyone not even her boss. She is aggressive but in a good way,” told Talal, another friend.
Fatima was recently selected as an inspiring woman for UN Women Pakistan’s recent campaign
“I have been rejected at every phase of my life many times in the past fourteen years, merely because I do not fit the status quo of the society we breed in. When children were busy building memories of their childhood, I was trying to survive; visiting doctors to diagnose what had gone wrong with me. Since then, I have felt alienated- singled out. I was mocked and laughed upon, bestowed with all the pity that started hitting me inside deeply as a child. It used to be my parents, family, friends and teachers’ positive aura that gave me the courage to strive forward in my trajectory. My key to bravery was that I never went into denial of the disease and adapted to live with it giving my best and trailing a blaze for the next hopeful caught in despair,” says the incredibly courageous Fatima, in her testimonial for the campaign.
Fatima is a living testimony to the fact that people with disabilities don’t need your help, what they need is an environment that supports them to achieve their potential
This young girl from Lahore has managed to soar higher than most.
“I want to become ‘Inspiration’ for others who are domesticated within the four walls of their houses, just because they are different. Individuals, who are distinctive require compassion instead of sensitivity from the general public. I want them to end up “Capable” as opposed to “Cripple”. Every country needs a change of perspective and I believe change can only be achieved by continuous efforts of everyone that can be combined with bigger ideas for the nation to follow and recognize. My faith is; the sooner you accept yourself, the better life you will live”, says Fatima.
Here’s Fatima’s story because we believe she’s one of the rare Khaas Log of Pakistan
If you know someone around you with an extraordinarily khaas story, share it with us so we can highlight these ‘Khaas Log’ that live within us.
Cover Image Via: Fatima Hasan