Defying the odds: The untold story of Gloria Nyamekye Opoku Darko [Part 2]
Let me tell you a little about my condition. My Mom and Dad are tall and I have a younger brother, who is also tall, but I was 27 years old on May 4th and I am only 3 feet tall. I was born with arthritis, a rheumatic joint disorder that is a leading cause of disability among adults all over the world. According to statistics, Arthritis and non-traumatic joint disorders
are among the five most costly conditions among adults 18 years and older.
As I grew up, the illnesses became more and more frequent and the medical bills kept piling up until my Dad could not take it anymore. He abandoned the family and took to drinking, sleeping out and taking care of other people’s children all because of me. He said I was his bad luck, that I was
the reason why he was not getting any richer and that I was the cause of all his misfortune. My Mom had to augment her income as a Primary School teacher with petty trading to cater for us.
I saw the pain and suffering this woman went through for my brother and I to have a good life and it made me cry many times, especially when I fell sick and could not hide it from her. There were times I wished I would just die in my sleep because I felt like a nuisance. But thank God for the angel He sent to me in the person of My Mother! All the sacrifices she has made for me until today. God bless my mother! (She deserves a round of applause don’t you think?)
I graduated from the university in the year 2017 with a first class honours in Actuarial Science. How did I do it with all the financial, emotional and health challenges I faced every day, you may ask? Well, the answer in short is Resilience! I learnt very early in my life that in the end I have nobody else but Myself. You can call me Resilient Gloria.
After Uni, I had my National Service in one of the most prestigious banks in Ghana, and you know how it goes … if you work hard enough during your service period, you get employed, right? Yes. So here I was giving my best, still hoping to be taken after working eight extra months on National Service allowance. During these eight months, I was put through a series of interviews together with my other colleagues. It was supposed to be four interviews in total but on the day of the last interview, I received an email to go home without any tangible reason. Meanwhile, all the other people I was in the interview with, even those I was better than, were employed. All of them but Gloria!
In the last month, I noticed my feet were swelling up and getting more painful by the day. However, it did not stop me from fitting those feet into my shoes and going to work and lectures after work every day. To tell you that I was doing a good job at the bank, my boss actually wrote a recommendation letter for me. I am sure he anticipated this discrimination coming my way but he resigned before it happened and his letter was not enough to secure me a job there. No, but seriously Gloria, what was I
expecting? I mean, look at this ugly, sickly midget competing with beautiful, tall, light- skinned girls for a position at the bank! There was no place for my intelligence or me. Another blow right in my face!
I concluded that there…..[Part 3]