Seeing Aya Alhindi today, you can’t tell that at the tender age of six, her life was scarred by an unidentified disease. It contorted her face and slowly impaired the entire right side of her body, affecting movement in her arm and leg.
As a young child, Aya and her family lived in moderate comfort in a small city in Kuwait. Her life there was often a lonely one, as her awkward appearance and physical handicap made making friends and doing normal childhood activities impossible.
Her father would often take her with him when he visited neighbors and relatives who were worse off than she. Gradually, Aya realized that although she was suffering physically and emotionally, she was blessed to have the support of her family, a safe home, and the basic necessities of life. She saw that many people, especially children, did not have that same security or comfort at all. So at age14, she decided she would do all she could to help those she encountered.
In 1990, her life again, was forever changed with the arrival of the first Gulf War between Iraq and Kuwait. Nearly penniless, the family fled to the safety of Jordan after Aya's father lost his business. At age 19, Aya began supporting her family by starting several small businesses, including a successful fashion design firm employing women from her neighborhood. She knew the first people needing her help were her own, despite her continued battle with the unidentified and debilitating disease.
The symptoms of her illness progressed until in 1998, when she could no longer work. The doctors in Jordan still had no diagnosis for her condition. Determined to find answers, Aya was inspired to send a letter to Jordan’s King Hussein. He, himself, was ill and receiving treatment in the United States at the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota. Knowing his humanitarian interests, Aya boldly requested help from the King to obtain treatment in the United States for herself. She soon received a response that help would be provided, but regrettably, King Hussein passed away before the request could be fulfilled. Fortunately for Aya, Queen Noor took up the case, seeing that the appeal for help would be satisfied.
While undergoing treatment in the U.S. in 2001, Aya’s father passed away. Many people came to the family with stories of his generosity and lifelong practice of quietly giving and sharing with others. To honor her father, she grew even more determined to carry on his legacy of his good work.
The illness that plagued Aya was determined to be combination of Multiple Sclerosis and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) both affecting the neurological system. Both conditions miraculously had gone into remission by 2013. For Aya, the “impossible” became “I’m Possible”.
During her course to wellness, she continued her endeavor of giving to others, helping to bring them a better life. Out of childhood pain and loneliness, came the long journey of healing and the lifetime commitment to help others.
"I sense a child’s pain because of my lifetime
of physical and emotional pain." ~ Aya