It’s hard to be a teenager at the best of times. Other kids are cruel, there’s the pressure of exams and parental expectations and the awkwardness of growing up in general as you try to get used to a rapidly changing body.
Can you imagine how much worse it must be to be 15 years old and have to face down the permanent removal of a limb? That’s where Dareen Barbar found herself and it’s taken a long time for her to recover her confidence.
This is her inspiring story of taking her life by the horns, despite the hand it dealt her.
10. Meet Dareen Barbar
Dareen is from Lebanon, and while you might assume that means her amputation is related to the problems her country faces, in fact, it was as the result of a deeply invasive bone cancer. She had to lose her leg or lose her life, a tough choice for anyone to make.
9. A Dramatic Life Change
Dareen says, “Can you imagine yourself at 15? You are talking to your girlfriends about parties and boys and clothes and going out. Then suddenly, you find yourself in hospital, surrounded with IVs and doctors.”
She continued, “It was a bit of a crisis for me.” As you might imagine.
8. Moving Forward
Dareen’s operation was a success but, of course, the impact of the surgery was long-lasting. Lebanon puts great pressure on women to be perfect – it’s a country which offers and promotes personal loans for plastic surgery and she felt that she was excluded somewhat by society because of her leg.
7. Counting On Others
Dareen says that her family and friends motivated her to come to terms with the change. She says that they gave her the sympathy she needed to adapt to life without a limb. However, that doesn’t mean that she immediately got involved in exercise – she had other things to do first.
6. Marrying And Moving
One of the biggest changes in Dareen’s life was meeting and marrying her husband, Ramzi Gholmieh. He worked in Dubai and Dareen moved there to join him. Together they had two children and were living a happy life. But then in 2013, disaster struck again. You won’t believe Dareen’s bad luck.