Growing up isn’t always easy and being ‘young’ isn’t exactly a walk in the park either. Now, imagine if you had to go through all of that when you’ve been diagnosed with a disability – what’s more, it isn’t just you who have disabilities either.
Here’s how one girl, despite the challenges she faced, turned her disabilities into abilities.
Eunice Lee, 23, was born to a family of two siblings and two visually impaired parents.
“My mum, Mrs Wong, suffers from Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and is almost blind while my dad, Mr Lee, is completely blind and diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.”
She, herself, was born with Pierre Robin’s Syndrome (a set of physical abnormalities affecting the head and face) and Glaucoma (an eye disease that can lead to blindness). Fortunately, most of these conditions were corrected when she was just a baby and in primary school.
But how does one girl with physical disabilities herself grow up with two visually impaired parents?
If you think it’s gonna be a headache, you can’t be anymore wrong! And nothing short of inspiring.
Eunice’s mum would wake up every morning to prep breakfast for the family, do some marketing, and at noon she would clean the house while listening to podcasts. At night, she cooks dinner and spends time chatting with her children. Her dad on the other hand, albeit completely blind, is a full-time teacher!
“It actually feels like growing up in a normal family. The only difference is that we needed to be their eyes every once in awhile, to describe things they can’t see. Other than that, my parents are extremely independent.”
At the age of 15 however (a time where most teens are still struggling to find their place), Eunice began falling into depression and at ages 17 and 18, she was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder with underlying Borderline Personality Disorder respectively. She also developed Astigmatism (blurry vision).
“Growing up in kebangsaan school was a struggle for me. I was bullied by my teachers and classmates because of my poor vision and mental health issues. The rumours wouldn’t stop spreading.”
Eunice even struggled with suicidal thoughts and had to be admitted into the Psychiatric Ward multiple times.
However, no matter how bleak the situation seemed, there is a silver lining to every cloud. Because of her condition, Eunice hopes to be a mental health professional one day; to work as a clinical psychologist in clinics or NGOs to help other people facing similar issues.
“I’ve made it this far in life because of my hopes and ambition to become a clinical psychologist myself. At times I tell myself I won’t make it because of my own mental health problems, but I’m going to prove myself wrong!”
In spite of everything, Eunice still remains grateful for her life and especially for her mum who constantly supports her and is her pillar of strength despite her own disabilities. She hopes to one day inspire others who face the same conditions as her, just like how the famous Dr Kay Redfield Jamison – an American psychologist with Bipolar Disorder – has inspired her.
“People with disabilities are just like normal people. We have no lack of abilities, we simply have different abilities. We can still function and live life normally.”
“If you want to help us, feel free to help. You can even ask us about our disabilities if you want to know more, there’s nothing wrong with that!”
Eunice, who is currently in the midst of completing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology undergraduate studies, hopes for a future where Malaysians will show less stigma towards people with disabilities and dreams to one day see workplaces employing more individuals with disabilities.
“If you’re disabled or facing mental health issues, just remember that you are not alone! There are people out there who want to help. We love you and God loves you.”
“You’ll be OK.”
In spite of their disabilities and hardships in life, Eunice and her family have found a way to pull through at the end of the day as they truly embody the spirit of #KitaOK! Do you have any #KitaOK stories of your own? Here’s how you can inspire someone and spread some positivity while also standing a chance to win some prizes!
PruBSN is giving away some amazing prizes to all PruBSN Anugerah customers with their #KitaOK Hashtag Contest! All you have to do is share your #KitaOK moments with them!
To join, simply follow these steps:
- Snap a selfie or wefie on your personal Facebook and/or Instagram account
- Include #KitaOK and #PruBSN in your photo caption
- Email a screenshot of the URL of your posting and your PruBSN Anugerah certificate number to [email protected]
And that’s all there is to it! Just follow these easy steps and stand a chance to win from a prize pool of a trip for two to Perth, Australia, 5 units of 64GB iPhone X and 10 units of myDNA kits! Hurry though, as contest ends on 31 March 2018. For more info and other terms and conditions of the contest, visit the PruBSN website.
Spread some positivity and keep the message of #KitaOK alive!
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