Despite battling sickle cell disease, 28-year-old Aisha Ismail Makrfi, defied all odds to obtain a certificate in Higher National Diploma.
The sick-cell embattled lady, in an interview with BBC Hausa, said she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of two and this led to the removal of her knee ball two years after.
Speaking of her challenges, Aisha said the ailment had drastically affected her studies right from the onset, as she was never stable enough to go to school for a long period of time.
“Being frequently bedridden for two weeks or more has deprived me of attending school,” she said. “Sometimes I fall sick during exams. But I kept fighting the urge to give up.”
“My parents were very supportive during my schooling years,” she continued. “I would have given up if not for them. I remember how I used to tell them there is no use for me attending school with so much ailment. But they never failed to encourage me.”
Aisha had to accept reality and pursue her academic goals with passion.
She said: “Although I initially wanted to study medicine or nursing, but due to my condition, I gave up that dream. Regardless, I am still grateful to Allah because I never knew I could even obtain as far as a HND.
“I was excited when I started my NYSC. This has shown how far I have come. During my final year, I fell so sick that they had to operate on my hip. My lecturers doubted if I could graduate with my colleagues, but by the grace of God, I was able to write my final exams with them.”
Aisha lamented that financial setbacks prevented her parents from sponsoring her bone marrow transplant as recommended by doctors.
“My parents can’t afford a bone marrow transplant. Even now, I need hip replacement surgery but my parents can only afford a daily dosage of injections. Without the injection, I become immobile because of the pain,” she explained.