Patient Story

Nabeel Javed

My Name is Nabeel Javed , I am 26 years old and from the West Midlands. I was diagnosed with Thalassaemia Major at birth, and I was given my first blood transfusion the tender age of 3 months. Thalassaemia major is a severe blood disorder which affected my body’s ability to produce healthy red blood cells. The disorder requires me to be life dependent on monthly blood transfusions and specific medication needed daily to control my iron overload. The illness causes several other complications and there is no easy cure available. 

I’ve had been living with this since birth, so growing up wasn’t the easiest. I was unable to do the things any “normal” kid would be able to do; I was always the slowest or the weakest in the class. Growing up, I was always extremely fatigued and tired and my consultant at that time, explained it would be difficult for me to build muscle and take part in sporting activities. I was extremely underweight and saw my illness as nothing but an obstacle. 

Growing up I was fascinated by boxing and loved the sport, I got quite disheartened I couldn’t take part in the sport. For years I allowed myself to think there was a barrier around me and that I wasn’t good enough. But one day this all changed, I woke up and thought to myself why should I see my illness as an obstacle? Why can’t I do it? Why am I not capable? Feeling sorry for myself hasn’t benefited me. I realised I wanted a change in my life, I didn’t care how long it took or how I’d get there all I knew is a CHANGE is what I wanted. 

I attended a gym and fast forward a few years started boxing. I am now competing in my first boxing event at a white-collar boxing show on Saturday 21st May 2022. I want to raise awareness about my illness and let people know that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. I want people to know they are not alone! Whether you suffer from an illness, obesity, anorexia, disability, mental health disorder or depression. DO NOT THINK CHANGE IS NOT POSSIBLE! IF I CAN DO IT ANYONE CAN! THE SKY IS THE LIMIT! I want to help people who were once in my position. It wasn’t easy opening up about something so personal, but if my story can motivate JUST ONE person then it’s a job well done for me. 

I have personally known of two patients that have died from complications of the illness and one girl just passed away last week. I want to be the voice for the silent and unheard. You can check out my social media accounts on Instagram @fitnesswithnabeel & @anumxnabeel . I want the world to hear my story and I won’t stop till we have awareness about thalassaemia which is such a serious yet overlooked condition. I am happy to travel wherever necessary to meet and talk to people who can help me spread the word. I want to help everyone who is suffering from not just an illness but any obstacle in life and let them understand the impossible is possible.