Here is a story about a real-life superhero. She is a mother of four who has survived cancer, fought against all odds and came back even stronger after going through a limb amputation surgery.
The old English proverb: 'where there's a will, there's a way' asserts mind over matter. In life, sometimes we have the will, but we can't find the way; other times, we may know the way, but we struggle with finding the will. The challenge lies in getting from here to there. So how do we gather both the will and the way?
For 42 years old Zeeda Aziz from Kedah Malaysia, she gained her will with loads of love and support from friends and family, and she found her way with pure hard work and determination.
In 2007, Zeeda was officially diagnosed with Proximal Tibial Osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer). For her, it takes a whole lot more to muster up that will in comparison to most. Her way forward from then onwards would be arduous, demanding much more effort, both physically and mentally.
She shared with WADD that after undergoing endless treatments and suffering through multiple infections with no improvement, she finally came to the decision to amputate her left leg once and for all. She has shared in her story that everyone else around her was devastated at the time. Still, instead of feeling hopeless from the ordeal, she remained optimistic.
Her inspiring story was also shared on a Facebook community page, "Kongsi Cara Jualan di Shopee (Malaysia)", made for Malaysian Shopee sellers.
"I guess everyone who loves me was crying for the difficult life they imagined I'd be going through after the amputation. Maybe they thought I would be done for. No job, my friends and husband will leave me, my household will fall apart, etc. I don't know... at the time, I didn't feel sad. I did not even cry. If anything, I was looking forward to challenging myself and eager to find out if one leg can accomplish what two legs do! Whatever the circumstance, I have to find my own ways to survive."
Image source via Zeeda Aziz
It has been more than a decade that Zeeda has lived with walking aids. Not only is she still happily married, but she has also become a very successful Shopee seller.
She has learnt to embrace her physical differences. She does not allow her disability to define her nor hold her back from learning and growing.
"I am no different from other sellers. We are all hardworking people, trying to make ends meet."
Zeeda only started her business on Shopee back in June 2020. Like everyone else, there is no shortcut to success. She had only one order in the first month with a sales value of RM30; the orders only went up to seven in the following month and eight in the third month. Though the quantity has increased, the value in total was still pitifully small. What she made in the 3rd month was less than the 2nd month because the items purchased had less value.
Rather than giving up, Zeeda was quick to act to bring about change for her business. She then went on to take Shopee's free training course for a month. It was from what she learned through the classes that she began to see her business improving dramatically. Her sales increased by 497%! Now that is drastic!
Her learning did not stop there. She continued to learn to improve herself in the online business.
"I am only OKU physically, but my brain is well functioning, so I am going to utilize it best I can. My sales have reached 4 digits daily, and I am now able to hire a few employees to assist with packing and deliveries," said Zeeda.
Zeeda described running her business as requiring 300% effort, which excludes raising 3 boys and a girl who are still at schooling age.
Ever since she started her business on Shopee, she has been out and about hunting for goods to sell with one leg and crutches in her arms. Her daily schedule was to look for items in the morning, packaging goods in the afternoon, working on marketing in the evening and continuing with more packaging late at night.
"On rainy days, I'll have to pace myself so as not to slip and fall. For heavy items. I'll just have to balance myself a bit more as I carry them into the car."
Here at WADD, we can't emphasize enough how inspired we are by Zeeda's strong will and how much we love her positive vibes!
When asked what motivated her to get into business, she replied: "I am a person with a disability (PWD). Due to this, no employers will hire me. Discrimination towards people like me is very obvious. Most are quick to judge that PWD is incapable of performing even a simple task. Hence, I started this business so I can be the company."
And once she has stepped into the e-commerce world, she has no intention to quit and will do what it takes to master the ways around the business.
According to Zeeda, "It is not so much to become wealthy. I just really like to learn and equip myself with knowledge. Maybe one day, once I am skilled with e-commerce, I will find something else to learn again. Who knows, it might even be on interior design!"
Zeeda's disability never prevented her from living the full life she deserves. Apart from growing her business, she never forgets to give back to the community too. The wonder woman is also quite a charity activist as she has always been involved with social work.
Despite having to live with a limb permanently, Zeeda has surmounted the will, courage, and skills needed to not only survive but to live a life of meaning. What's your excuse?
We've asked for Zeeda's encouragement to everyone amid the coronavirus crisis.
"I wholeheartedly understand that this is a dire situation, and we can't even predict when this would end. People are not only losing their income, but they are losing their hopes too. There are no words to comfort those who have lost everything. But for those who are unaffected, this is the time to be a hero. Let's help each other out by being more empathetic. Share what you have. Support the small businesses."
Let us leave you with another one of our absolute favourite quotes from this incredible lady.
"Don't be angry with destiny. I don't feel sad when a part of my body is taken. It was my destiny. I will, however, be mad at myself if I don't try enough. Every day I pray that Allah doubles my strength for every test that comes to me. I may only have one leg, but I pray for the speed of four!"
Follow this inspiring and influential woman if you haven't already on Shopee!