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Expedition to scale live volcanic mountain in Tanzania to raise ‘epilepsy awareness'

Tuesday, May 9, 2017/ Editor -  

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Team from UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are taking part in this initiative to help the cause of 65 million people suffering from this challenge around the globe, it is the 4th most common neurological condition

Dubai, UAE, May 9th, 2017: Epilepsy warrior and adventure enthusiast, Medina Ilyassova, will lead a group of 12 people to Tanzania on a ‘Wild Lion Expedition’. In addition to many hikes, the group will be hiking to the summit of Oldonya Lengai “The Mountain of God” – a live volcano in Tanzania. It the only active volcano known to erupt carbonatite lava, a sensational discovery scientists made as recently as in the 1960s. Team from UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are taking part in this initiative.

Having been the victim of epileptic bouts for over 14 years, ub-cool’s co-founder Medina Ilyassova knows the strength it takes to deal with and overcome the condition. After suffering from uncontrollable seizures, she underwent risky brain surgery two years ago. Now enjoying life epilepsy-free, Ilyassova’s lifelong goal is to raise awareness and educate society about this condition. 

Epilepsy can affect anyone, at any age and from any walk of life. Each year, 200,000 people worldwide are diagnosed and in two-thirds of patients diagnosed, the cause is unknown. Suffered by 65 million people around the globe, it is the 4th most common neurological condition.

Through this initiative, the expedition also aims to support the head of the Epileptology Department at University of Bonn and the ex-ambassador of epilepsy in the United Nations, Professor Christian Elger. Alongside his medical research, the Professor’s charity foundation exists to support epileptic patients and educate medical staff in Ethiopia.

Ilyassova from Kazakhasthan further states that, “Epileptics are the same as you and me; they go to school, they have families and jobs. Yet in many countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, Epilepsy is often treated as a mental disorder and epileptics are stigmatised in their own societies. We want to communicate a message that epileptics are normal people, who need every bit of medical support so that they can overcome all challenges posed by their condition and lead normal lives'

The team hopes to attract a lot of attention towards this sensitive medical condition and bring out the message that epilepsy is treatable and does not define the patient’s capabilities, or lack thereof.

“We underestimate our brain capacity; I didn’t only learn it from books – I tested it on myself. I do believe that people who were born with learning disabilities or faced brain injuries have a chance to recover and build new neuron connections. We can try and keep several degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's, at bay and optimize our neurological functions by constantly learning and training our brain,” added Medina.

Trying to raise epilepsy awareness, she has taken part in Spartan Race and Muscat Marathon, run 100km within 15 days in 5 countries, and many other adventurous activities.

“In my opinion, the biggest mistake people can make is to resign themselves to their condition and not challenge themselves to push harder. I am not talking only about epileptic patients; this philosophy is applicable to all of us. We need to challenge ourselves every day and will be amazed what our body and mind can do,” concluded Medina.

This expedition is being organised by Husaak Adventures, one of the region’s leading adventure companies.  Run by Arwa Abulhasan and Ali Husain, their goal is to re-introduce the culture of exploration in the Arabian Gulf Society. Their expeditions encompass philanthropy, educating and exposing people to the beauty of nature in remote locations, and encouraging them to protect it; thus they are happy to support Medina in her attempts to raise epilepsy awareness.


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