EPISODE SHOW NOTES

Episode 11: Life Through A Different Lense

When Zaakirah Nayyar was 9 months old she lost her right eye to non-hereditary Retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye cancer. 

With a prosthetic eye and declining hearing from radiation treatments Zaakirah often felt like she didn’t fit in. But with encouragement and support of her family and her own innate confidence, Zaakirah never experienced her deafblindness as a disability. 

CONNECT WITH ZAAKIRAH NAYYAR MUHAMMAD HERE

Through her life and also her work as a photographer, digital marketer, and author of the new memoir Seeing Life Through A Different Lens, Zaakirah strives to appreciate what she’s gone through while always moving ahead with humor and resilience.

Zaakirah Nayyar Muhammad is a Brand Cultivating Strategist, professional photographer, and digital marketer who helps small businesses with social media, branding, and growth. 

At 6 months old, a camera saved her life when a photo her mother took helped discover she had a rare childhood eye cancer tumor. At 9 months old, she was taken into surgery to have her right eye removed and her hearing slowly began to decline as she got older, but her other three senses kicked in and are functioning well.

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At age five her mom gifted her with her first camera and by the time she attended technical high school, she was studying commercial photography. and she moved to Washington D.C. to expand her education in professional photography and videography.

She has just published her memoir Seeing Life Through a Different Lens that she hopes will inspire parents, guardians, and teenagers who are affected by childhood cancer or who are eye cancer survivors.

She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

ABOUT YOUR HOST

I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
 
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
 
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
 
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