Get-hooked December 1, 2020
13-year-old Afeefa from Kochi loves to spread happiness & positivity around her
Afeefa, 13 years old, from Fort Kochi was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Dystrophy. Afeefa who is a singer loves to make stories from her favorite cartoon characters. Her new found hobby is something of interest to her family and friends too. Read on to know more about this powerhouse of energy and positivity.
13-year-old Afeefa who hails from Fort Kochi in Kerala was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Dystrophy (SMD). A small town girl, Afeefa’s confidence, grit and determination makes her loved amongst members of the disabled community and even her own peers and teachers at school. Someone who loves Disney cartoon characters, Afeefa loves to make stories from every cartoon character and toys that she comes across. Afeefa’s stories, as her closed ones puts it, are heart-warming yet positive. A powerhouse of energy, Afeefa says there is no dull moment in her life.
Never giving up
Afeefa’s mother Anita remembers that her daughter grew up like a regular kid until the age of five. But while attending kindergarten, Afeefa had issues sitting up and walking. When in class one, she participated in sports events and started getting swelling on her leg after which her teachers asked Anita to get a thorough check-up done on Afeefa. A biopsy was done and Afeefa was diagnosed with SMD. But Anita and her husband believed that though their child has weak muscles, they could support her always.
They started taking her everywhere. But Afeefa missed having a good electric wheelchair with which she could move around. Anita and her husband couldn’t afford one, so they knocked doors of many government officials for schemes and benefits to procure an electic wheelchair. But no doors opened. After being part of Kerala-based NGO MIND and meeting one of their members Rajesh, Afeefa’s dream got fulfilled. A Kannur-based organization sponsored her with an electric wheelchair. Afeefa, who is currently studying in class 9 goes to her school in her wheelchair accompanied by her father.
Though many people asked Afeefa to home-school, this youngster is determined to sit with her peers and study. “She is adamant on going to school and learning. Afeefa has a lot of friends and supportive teachers too. Since I’am not working, I go to the school whenever she needs me”, says Anita.
Finding exciting things to do
“Since childhood, Afeefa loves to hear stories. Even today, she wants me to tell her a story before going to bed”, says Anita. Maybe it is this love for stories that prompted Afeefa, who is also a singer, to take up an interesting hobby.
She records on her phone stories told by her mother or other family members. She then brings together her favorite cartoon characters and recreates another story that has come into her mind. Since she cannot read or write owing to her poor motor skills, Afeefa memorizes everything clearly. Her stories are loved and appreciated amongst family and school friends. Someday, Afeefa hopes to write stories for a living though she hasn’t set her goals yet. “I think I’am too young to know what I really want to do in life, but maybe I would become a Radio Jockey because I can talk and entertain people”, says Afeefa whose favorite Disney character is Elsa, the princess.
Though she learnt music for a while, Afeefa quit it since going all the way to her class was not accessible. But she still sings for events at school.
“Sometimes I worry about her future, but that does not stop me or my husband from supporting her. She brings happiness to our lives and lights up any room she enters”, tells Anita.
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