05 Jul

In the quiet corridors of Fatima Zeynu's world, a 22-year-old woman battles not only epilepsy but also the harsh realities of societal rejection and isolation. In this blog, we delve into Fatima's story — a tale of resilience, determination, and the universal human desire for connection.

Fatima's Struggle for Acceptance:

"I like myself, but people don't like me. No one wants to touch or kiss me, not even my family," confesses Fatima, highlighting the profound impact of societal stigma on her quest for acceptance and friendship. Despite her positive self-perception, Fatima faces rejection due to her condition, a common experience for many individuals living with epilepsy.

The Cooking Accident that Changed Everything:

Fatima's journey took a drastic turn following a cooking accident triggered by an epileptic seizure. Severe burns on her face, neck, chest, abdomen, thighs, forearm, and hand became not just physical scars but also emotional barriers, leading to social isolation.

Challenges of Ongoing Medical Treatment:

Despite Fatima's ongoing medical treatment, her seizures persist, necessitating a challenging 110km journey for bi-monthly follow-ups. The hurdles she encounters during this journey, from enduring stares to facing bus rejections, further amplify the difficulties she faces.

Navigating Familial Disapproval and Marriage Decisions:

In her pursuit of a meaningful life, Fatima confronts familial disapproval and societal misconceptions. Considering herself cursed, she has opted against marriage to prevent passing epilepsy to her future children. This heart-wrenching decision reflects the weight of stigma on personal choices.

The Resilience in Fatima's Pursuit:

Eager to find work, achieve self-sufficiency, and connect with others facing similar challenges, Fatima embodies resilience. Despite societal barriers, she persists in her pursuit of friendship, understanding, and a life filled with purpose.

Empathy, Understanding, and Hope:

Fatima's story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding, and dismantling the stigma surrounding epilepsy. It calls for a collective effort to create a society where individuals like Fatima can lead fulfilling lives, free from judgment and isolation.


Fatima's journey is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. As we navigate her experiences, let us reflect on how we, as a community, can contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate world—one where everyone, regardless of their health condition, can experience the warmth of friendship and understanding.

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