Dubai: Neena Nizar Adam has braved numerous challenges including restricted mobility that her rare bone condition brings and is now a proud owner of a UAE driving licence.
Adam underwent almost three dozen surgeries as she suffers from Jansen’s metaphyseal chondroplasia, a rare condition in which the bones do not absorb calcium and the growing parts of the body are not supported as a result.
“The driving licence has given me wings to soar. For someone who cannot use their legs as much, it means a lot,” said the visibly happy 34-year-old, who teaches in Modern High School.
She is one of the less than 30 people in the world who are reported to have this bone condition. “Not much research has been done on this condition. In fact, until I was 32, the diagnosis itself was not correct. But I had to undergo more than 30 surgeries because if that’s not done, the bone would not be able to take the pressure and it would break. But the bones, as they don’t absorb calcium, would not fuse again, which made it all the more difficult to heal.”
The challenges for her started right from childhood and she was not able to walk for 10 years of her life due to the surgeries. However this strong- willed woman not only braved the challenges, she works in a school, manages her family, inlcuding her two children both of whom suffer from a similar bone condition, and is also closely associated with a support group for the families of people with special needs.
Narrating her experience of getting the licence, she said: “I would usually take a bus to commute but the inconvenience of waiting and sometimes having to walk, made me want a driving licence all the more. Recently, when I learnt that the disabled could also get trained and earn a licence, I got hopeful but was very unsure. It was with the motivation of my friends and family that I took 40 classes and got it in my second attempt,” she said.
Eagerly waiting for a new car, one that will be modified and fit to be used by her and will give her the freedom she has always dreamt of, she said: “I can now take the kids out myself.. I am really happy... I am also thankful to this place where I got the opportunity, it is a great hope for the disabled.”