Ayman’s NF Story
Ayman’s NF Story
When Ayman was diagnosed with NF1 he was too young to understand what it meant for him until he was forced to face one of his biggest challenges. As Ayman began to understand how his diagnosis would affect him he grew scared and worried about what his future would bring. Now 26, Ayman has battled his toughest challenges, and has emerged resilient and positive about life with NF.
At only three years old Ayman was diagnosed with his first brain tumour – an inoperable growth – and cancer. With less than a 20% chance of survival, his future looked bleak, but refusing to be overwhelmed by fear and despair, Ayman and his family pursued extreme doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Doctors managed to control the growth and Ayman is now 20 years in remission.
Since his first major medical hurdle Ayman has been diagnosed with an optic glioma, which has contributed to the deteriorating vision in his right eye, scoliosis, and a lump on his thyroid, which has grown but is now stable. He has also experienced dental complications, learning difficulties, and speech issues.
“I have learnt to accept the life that comes with living with NF,” says Ayman.
“Now, 26 years into my life, I feel fine about it and just roll with the punches. There are always going to be issues and fears around having NF, but there is nothing you can do about it. The best thing that you can do is have a positive attitude and a positive mentality and just do the best that you can with what you have been given.”
Most recently, Ayman was diagnosed with a second brain tumour in 2012. The news brought great cause for concern after Ayman’s earlier brush with cancer, but fortunately the growth was found to be non-cancerous and operable.
Despite facing many challenges throughout his NF journey, Ayman has achieved much more, and it’s his determination that has set him apart. Ayman has won many awards, most notably the 2006 Young Citizen of the Year Award for Coffs Harbour. He has since moved to Melbourne where he works part-time in an organisation representing technical professionals and regularly volunteers for many GLBTIQ services.
Backed by a strong family support network, Ayman has persevered through adversity to make the most out of life, and he’s keen to inspire others to do the same.
“I am really passionate about getting my story of inspiration out to the masses,” says Ayman.
“Having an amazing and positive network is the best thing that you can have for that rollercoaster called life. I know that it may be challenging and that there are a lot of ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, but this is what makes you. Never give up, and enjoy the ride!”