27 Feb Abdelrahman – From Hemophilia to Hope Through Robotics
FIRST Global is a testament to the power of STEM in transforming lives. STEM education can lift people up, providing opportunities for them to realize their full potential regardless of age, perceived ability, gender, socio-economic status, or country of origin.
Abdelrahman’s story is one such case. Born with Hemophilia, a disorder that prevents his blood from clotting, there were a lot of things he couldn’t do as a kid out of fear for his safety. Even the slightest fall or scratch could result in severe injury. His treatments consisted of countless injections, and there were days where he couldn’t even hold a pen due to the pain in his joints.
Growing up, he wasn’t allowed to run and play like the other kids, which was especially tough in a country that prized sports like soccer.
However, that changed when he discovered robotics.
He was introduced to the robotics club at his school, and everything shifted from there. He now had a safe outlet where his creativity and passion could thrive, a place where his condition didn’t matter. He could be himself and make friends.
It wasn’t long before he joined his team in competitions, even traveling abroad. Although daunting at first, he managed it time after time, proving both to himself and others that he was more than capable of overcoming the obstacles that tried to stand in his way.
“His parents are thrilled that he has a life that he looks forward to, instead of laying in bed sick and doing nothing,” said his coach, Sondos. “Now he is a young man with a smile that just steals your heart, and dreams so big! I have seen this wonderful young man grow in front of my eyes.”
So when he was selected to represent his nation in the 2019 FIRST Global Challenge in Dubai, he and his family were delighted. In just a few years, he had gone from a kid confined to his bed, to a competitor on the world stage alongside 2,500 other students.
Robotics gave him a dream and hope for the future, serving as an outlet to enable him to reach his full potential.
“My life has completely changed,” he said. “I now look forward to something, whether a new course or a new competition. I now have hope for tomorrow.”
Abdelrahman plans to use his skills to become a programmer in the future. Understanding first-hand the power of an opportunity in transforming lives, he also plans to help other kids who are looking to begin their own robotics journey.
“I wish to be seen as an accomplished human being, a person who defied his medical history and never gave up. I hope to be an example to all Hemophilic patients to never surrender nor give up; you can be someone if you set your mind to it!”
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