Woman diagnosed with rare disease turns thrill-seeker
After being diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder called acromegalia, 32-year-old Sema Doğan from the southern province of Antalya had a life-changing revelation that turned her into a thrill-seeker; trekking, mountaineering and traveling Turkey province by province.
Doğan, who has been traveling since 2015, calls herself “a traveler who is running after her dreams.”
“Since the doctor told me that my disease would drive me to an early grave, I have been on the road,” Doğan said, adding that she started mountaineering as it was her first childhood dream.
Taking photos from the sites she visited and uploading them to her social media accounts, the woman became an influencer in a short time.
“We postpone our dreams all the time. After I learned of my sickness, I decided not to. I decided to travel from the moment I left the doctor’s office,” she added.
Acromegalia is a rare disease affecting six per 100,000 people. The initial symptom is typically enlargement of the hands and feet. There also can be an enlargement of the forehead, jaw and nose.
“There is no change in my body for now. But the disease was not an obstacle for me to chase my dreams,” she said.
“It’s not a cause of death at your 30s or 40s. However, I know that I am not going to see my 70s or 80s,” she added.
Stating that being in nature helps her fight the disease, Doğan said she made a bucket list with all the things that she wants to do in her life.
“I am learning foreign languages at the moment. When the pandemic would be over, I will start my voyages and trips abroad,” she said.
Noting that without thinking too deep, she will continue to chase her dreams while taking care of her health, Doğan said she regularly visited her doctor for timely medical checkups.
Doğan recently climbed Mount Demirkazık in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde and uploaded her photos on her social media accounts.