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ABIRA MAHEEN

Pakistan

ABIRA MAHEEN
Joint secretary Haemophilia Foundation Pakistan
President Youth group Haemophilia Patient’s Welfare society Rawalpindi
Von Willebrand disease

I am 25 years old and a final year medical student. Most of the people don’t even know what this
‘Von Willebrand disease’ means and neither did my parents or my family until I was born. I was 45 days old when I was diagnosed as a case of this disease. It a bleeding disorder where the blood has an impaired clotting system. As a child having impaired clotting means the parents have to be extra vigilant to take care of their child. My childhood has been a bit different from other children with frequent bleeds and visits to hospitals. It’s strange that I always wanted to be a doctor and a teacher but I have always hated hospital. Seeing my parents always by my side, seeing their struggle always motivated me. I always wanted to make them proud. I wanted to work hard and set an example for other people like me that not living with this is not an option so it’s better to accept it and move on. I was active in school and college being part of the student’s body as well as in extracurricular. I was able to secure first position in whole of UAE in matric and second in FSC in UAE. Success is not a road where you walk on roses, my dream was to become a doctor and that was shattered when I was unable to get admission in gov sector medical college. It took a year almost to get back on the track and prepare again for the entry test and finally I got admission and that was a bid step towards my dream. I joined Haemophilia Patient’s Welfare society to move towards my goal and I am working as their executive board member, youth group leader and women group member. I am also working for people with bleeding disorders at national level as joint secretary of Haemophilia Foundation Pakistan. I hope to become a great haematologist plus I also want to make an organisation where people like me will not only get treatment but education and other opportunities as well where they could work on self-development and play their role in society, become role models.

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