A Conversation on Navigating Life with Spinal Bifida, with Ghofran Alyass

A smiling woman who is sitting in a wheelchair. She is wearing a white hijab and a
white long-sleeved shirt. Behind her is a tree with red and green leaves, with fallen red leaves
on the ground. There is also a stone structure and greenery.

I wasn’t born with my disability. Nor was I born during a time of war, as was Ghofran Alyass, one
of my recent podcast guests. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like for a parent,
having to care for a child with complex needs at such an uncertain time.

Finally, as a person who acquired my disability as an adult, I never had to experience what it
was like trying to work through the education system with a disability.

These were the main topics of the podcast interview that Ghofran and I had on my show,
A Different Way of Seeing, and why I was so interested to chat to her.

My first step was to find out what I could about Ghofran’s story. I began by reading her recently
published book, You Have 24 Hours to Live, which covers her early life in Iraq, her life-saving
surgery in the USA, and her subsequent move to Canada where, at the age of 11, she was
finally able to start formal education.

Having read the book, I knew that Ghofran’s story was one I wanted to share with my listeners.
During our conversation, I learned so much about the way in which Ghofran’s early years, the
struggles her parents had to navigate as a result of the war and the scarcity of medical
resources in Iraq at the time, as well as her experiences at school impacted her and her family.
We also discussed the not for profit organisation she has set up as a resource for other people
living with disabilities in Canada.

Of course, I could give you a more detailed summary of the show here, but I feel that you’ll only
gain the power of her story if you hear it in Ghofran’s own words, as I had the privilege of doing
as the podcast host.

This truly was an unforgettable interview. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Below are links to our chat, and to buy a copy of You Have 24 Hours to Live.
Navigating the Education System with Spinal Bifida, with Ghofran Alyass interview:

You Have 24 Hours to Live book, by Ghofran Alyass.
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CLF32B4B

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