(By Dr Shahid Qureshi – Exclusive interview):-
Lidia Leahu, is from Arad, Romania very kindly agreed to do an exclusive interview our readers. She is a wonderful person with lot of positive energy and inspiration. Here what has to say about herself.
- Please tell us about your life, childhood and family?
I grew up in a modest family in the country. I was blessed with two older brothers and a younger sister. My childhood was a happy one. Most of my childhood was spent on the street to play. In childhood I was healthy. At 14 I was diagnosed with progressive muscular dystrophy. If I had to I miss something, I would miss childhood. I miss to run so much that I cannot stop the run, than a gate or a fence, as happens to me when I was a kid. I miss walking barefoot through the grass and sand. I really miss!
- How was your schooling, education?
I had the chance to be able to do any studies I wanted to do, even after I broke illness, I was asked to give up school.
Both in middle school, high school, college and master I had good colleagues and teachers, but I had some special colleagues and teachers that they have always been there and that I will always be in my heart.
I still attract attention on one aspect. I wish teachers and school principals to be careful with students. A student with disabilities is not normal to receive classroom upstairs and having to crawl daily steps. In general, children with problems will not cry, because they are fighters, but let’s not make life harder than it already is.
- Please tell us about marriage, homes, kids and family life?
For now my family consists of my brothers (and their families) and my parents. I’m not married and have no children. My sister, Rachel, is my greatest support. She supports me and helps me in all I intend to do.
- How you spend your time, and your hobbies?
Besides normal activities everyone has, I like to invest time to meet new people.
Trying to communicate with as many people and I’m sorry that sometimes I fail to respond to all who write me. In the free time listening to music, doing sudoku, reading and I love traveling. I hope in the future to visit as many places and learn something from as many cultures.
- You have well adapted yourself apart from restrictions, how you feel?
Indeed, I have my limitations, but I never really felt as a disabled person. At home, I was always treated as a normal person and usually people treat me with respect. I feel appreciated, and this helps me to believe in myself. People with disabilities do not need pity. They need to be appreciated, loved and sometimes need support.
- Please tell us about your success stories?
If for some people their studies and career are the most successful, I would like to talk about another success. I think people are successful when they make a man to get off the ground and encouraged him to fight. When I make someone understand that no matter how hard you try it in life, it’s not end of the world and you deserve to live and to overcome the situation. I know what it’s like to be down and know it’s not very easy to get up, but I know it’s possible and if I did, anyone can succeed. I know how is it to get panic attacks and to be hospitalized, I know how it feels to live in fear of death, like to get to know you can not swallow a normal food, I know what it’s like to sit with light bulb and you can not sleep nights, I know how it feels to live even when you hear “There is no cure for your disease” but I know that if we have a strong will and desire of life and positive thoughts, we managed to get through all this. When someone told me: “You helped me more than helped me the psychologist. It’s been so good to talk to you!” I felt a successful woman. Success is not permanent. Sometimes we will fall. The important thing is to rise again and again, as many times as you need.
- What advice you will give to young people with disabilities?
My advice for themselves, and for those healthy is to fight for what they want and be positive people. I know too many pessimistic people and negativity can take a toll over both their physical and their mental over. I wish to look to see what things make them happy and what things make them feel useful, to feel valued and do those things often. Every person is valuable, no matter how it looks, moves or speaks. I want to draw attention to one thing. I want people with disabilities to understand, that having health problems does not mean you have to live unkempt. Take care of you and cherish you!
- What are future plans, how you see yourself in next 5 years?
I decided to leave out of the comfort zone and start to do more for people, because life is not about easy living, but about living meaningfully. I see me closer to the people in the next five years.
(Thank you very much for you time Lidia Leahu)