Syed Shabistan (Pakistan): The joy of volunteering

Before I was diagnosed with severe haemophilia A, one of the biggest obstacles I faced was people thinking it was something contagious. During my school, college and social life, I could not explain myself and the nature of the condition I had

I was diagnosed when I was 20 years old. It was a wonderful incident when one day I was studying my zoology course book and I came across the topic “Haemophilia”. I was surprised to see all the signs and symptoms matched with me.

Thirteen years ago, I came into contact with the patient organisation’s Islamabad Chapter and this was when I seriously started thinking about having a Hemophilia Society for the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has a population of more than 20 million. This led to the creation of the Hemophilia Foundation-Pakistan – Peshawar Chapter. Today we have more than 500 registered people with bleeding disorders and a strong Executive Board, a Medical Advisory Board from the three Main Government Hospitals of the Province and a diverse General Body of Parents and People with Bleeding Disorders.

Education has always been important in my life. On top of my job as a Chemistry teacher, I am a Research fellow in analytical chemistry at Islamia College University, Peshawar. Keeping a good balance between my studies, job, health, social life and working for the haemophilia community is key.

My future intentions are to do PhD and to be an analyst. Teaching is my profession and my passion. A life full of activities is nothing less than a blessing. Being a full-time volunteer in the bleeding disorders community as the Chapter’s President and as a National Treasurer is more than a joy. The more that life is getting challenging, the more we seek to find solutions to these challenges.

Syed Shabistan, President/Founder at Hemophilia Foundation-Pakistan – Peshawar Chapter, shared his story with us as part of our ‘Get+involved: share your story’ series to celebrate World Haemophilia Day 2020.