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Zainab, 33

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Zainab, with a white eye patch.

Where are you from?

Kingdom of Bahrain - Gulf region

Where do you live now?

Kingdom of Bahrain

Tell me about yourself:

I’m a wife and a working mother of two wonderful kids. I enjoy watching movies, and reading, and as a foodie- I love cooking as well. Being a one-eyed person makes me feel special. Every day I’m grateful that I still can see the beautiful world with my left eye.

What's your eye story?

Just before turning two years old, my parents noticed that I would always bang into things. They started to cover one eye at a time, I refused to have my eye covered as it made me feel blind. I got sick with a high fever for almost a month, they took me to an ophthalmologist and I was diagnosed with a rare type of eye cancer, #Retinoblastoma, I had my right eye enucleated. It was a huge tumor and the whole eye had to be removed in order to save the other eye and to prevent the spread of the cancerous cells. I now wear an ocular prosthesis.

Multiple pictures of Zainab as a baby to adulthood, some pictures she's wearing an eye patches.
Multiple pictures of Zainab as a baby to adulthood

What has been the hardest thing mentally?

I was bullied at school when I was young, but over time I’ve learned to love myself just the way I am. Also, after giving birth to my kids, I discovered that this type of cancer might be genetic and that I might pass it to them, which is hard to come to terms with.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

I don’t know the feeling of having two eyes. I have no depth perception and I bump into things and people sometimes. The continuous inflammations and dryness (especially with the climate in this part of the world) are also difficult.

Zainab with her prosthetic eye in. Wearing all white.
Zainab with her prosthetic eye in

Where are you now in your recovery?

After 30 years, my eye socket started to get infections due to the weight of the prosthetic eye. I couldn’t bear keeping it on, so I had to get a new implant to reduce the weight and to improve the movement of the new prosthetic eye. My secondary implant surgery was on April 2021, I still face some difficulties but it is improving day by day.

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