Urooba's Flame Of Positivity
Author: Fizza Abbas
Source: Revolution Flame
Urooba Ahmed Versus Leukemia
Urooba Ahmed Fatima is a young woman on a mission ... to defeat a poweful cancer called leukemia! Urooba told Eduzine Global:
"Growing up, I have seen my mom struggling to keep my five other siblings and me close to her, so that she can induce social values and clarify our minor confusions regarding religion, family and life, giving a push to my critical thinking skills. After listening to numerous stories of my parents' and grandparents' struggle, sacrifice and achievements, I developed a thirst to do something and make my existence count, not as much for myself as for the world as a whole.
At the age of 5, I was all set to transform the world...
With this positivity in my life, I entered the realistic teenage. My goal was all clear, but the methodology...blank. However, soon I realized that my success lies not in the words but in the implementation of them. A voracious learner, I read books, and hold a strong belief in optimism. Optimism made me believe that not everything in this world, specifically Pakistan, is filled with negative antics; however, we ignore the positive aspects.
In comparison to any other mediocre Pakistani family, I was spoon fed with dreams to pursue medicine. The conditions around seemed to encourage the mediocrity of society; however, the situation was reversed when I was handed over the result of grade 8. Alas! I couldn't qualify for Pure Science group due to just one percent less in Math. "Childhood dreams, hopes, aspirations". All seemed to have been crushed into a gazillion pieces, not forgetting the strange eye contacts and awkward glances by relatives; albeit, I decided on studying humanities. Growing up with a passion for medicine, stimulated my interest in medical research which was strengthened by the sad demise of nine of my family members who lost their lives to cancer. Since 2011 I have been working on therapeutic possibilities of cancer, specifically my proposed novel drug, and running an online cancer awareness campaign with the official hash tag "#FightCancer".
To date, I have done whatever I've longed for. From opting for 15 subjects to researching over one of the "incurable" diseases existing on Earth, reflect my determination, strong control over my abilities and the desire to do the impossible! Having a wonderful company of friends, I've always been encouraged to take up assertive stances and have personally enjoyed the stupendous experiences I've been through. Observing the commitment of my father to humanity heartened me to deposit my minor contributions to the cause which lead to running, managing and volunteering for humanistic campaigns, numerous fundraisers and book drives.
Lastly, an excerpt from the poem of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Azad describes my self-realization perfectly,
'So, I am not meant for crawling,
I have wings, I will fly
I will fly, I will fly'."
Fizza Abbas recently interviewed Urooba for 'Revolution Flame'. Here is her article:
A young girl tells the tale of her endeavors against a fatal disease, Cancer. Her journey has an essence of both success and failure but her consistency for this cause leaves her failures behind. Our team had the privilege to talk to her. Lets see what she has to say about herself:
Tell us about yourself.
I am a student of IGCSE III having 12 subjects majorly Behavioral Sciences and Biology and Chemistry alongside. I am very determined and focused towards whatever I want to do in life. I am not into sports much, but I love playing badminton. I utilize my free time, which is very very rare, by reading, catching up on my social welfare tasks and spending time with my family.
What inspired you to do something for the cancer patients?
Back in 2009 when around 9 people from my closer family died because of leukemia, I got a closer look into the treatments and diagnostic methods of leukemia used in Pakistan. I share this with utter disappointment and contentment at the same time that Pakistan owns quite a very few advancements in the treatment of cancer and that too are very expensive and unaffordable for an average earning person. It was that day when my desire to make contribution towards the field of cancer rose inside.
What difficulties did you face in your whole journey?
As I was not a pure science student, so when I discussed my idea of utilizing the natural herbs for the treatment of cancer with one of the science teachers at school, as expected, the teacher laughed off at my curiosity and advised me to focus on my majors only. As I moved on with experimentation, not a single laboratory was ready to have me in to work because of my age and lack of experience until I met Dr. Muhammad Qasim Hayat who has been very kind to me throughout and helped me so much by offering a place at his laboratory. Later, it added to my troubles even more when I learnt that there is not a single laboratory in Pakistan which supports experimentation on leukemia cell lines. As I am not well-versed with most of the basic sciences (I opted for Biology and Chemistry this year only) it was very hard learning about terminologies, biological procedures and other related things without the help of a proper teacher. There were many hard times when I used to get worried about funding, expenditures, my academics too.
What did you learn in this whole journey?
Being in research has been the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Getting in touch with people, working at laboratories and anxiously waiting for the results has brought in patience, humility, compassion and has elevated my faith in destiny.
How much your researching skills have enhanced till now?
I have been very lucky to work in a well-equipped laboratory with great co-mentors who taught me so much. I have learnt quite a lot about working with advanced machinery, writing research papers, recording measurements and other calculations as well. As my co-mentor said that I am sort of equivalent to a student of M.Phil in terms of laboratory work and my researching skills, which I think is an exaggeration.
Do you think there is a scope of research in our country?
During my time at NUST laboratory, I discovered that in Pakistan there are very limited resources yet our students struggle very hard to accomplish in their respective fields. There is not much scope of research in Pakistan in the present time, but I believe within the coming years Pakistan will witness a large number of scientists and a successful science and technology industry.
What further progress do you want to do make in this field?
As a matter of fact cancer has got a lot of treatments/cures, but due to different human genomics none of the treatments can be generalized. I wish to continue my efforts on drug development that is follow up on leukemia cell line experiments, proceed to STEM cell, animal tests and finally clinical trials. I hope that before I leave this world, I give it a treatment of leukemia.
What message do you want to give to the youth of our country?
To all my amazing fellows out there, I would like to tell you that you all are very special in your distinct way. Be honest to yourself and to your homeland; make mistakes and learn from them .Lastly I’d like to say, follow your dreams and you will witness yourself doing wonders!
Your words for Revolution Flame.
Revolution Flame is a great initiative and is a need of our country in the present time. I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Interviewed by Fizza Abbas for Revolution Flame
Eduzine Global congratulates Urooba on her awesome achievements to date. This is a young woman who will achieve an enormous amount in the years ahead and we look forward to following her story.
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Author: Fizza Abbas
Source: Revolution Flame
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