An inspiring story of perseverance, determination, and compassion
In the busy city of Cairo, amidst the vibrant livelihood, there exists a guiding light for those seeking empowerment and better health. Meet Sara M. El-Faek, a pioneering advocate for wellness and a woman whose unwavering commitment to uplifting others has become an inspiration to all who cross her path.
Sara’s story resonates with anyone who has experienced obesity. Being overweight since childhood, she battled obesity for 30 years. After being through a dark phase of depression, she decided to come out of it and help others like her. This was the inception of 7eb Nafsak– an initiative designed to address the main causes of obesity so that individuals can start taking proactive action for better health.
Sara’s graduation from the High Institute of Social Work in Cairo, Egypt gave her a foundation in social work and related fields. After switching various jobs, she found her passion in events and worked for various organizations. To excel in the field, she did various event and project management courses. Being an ambitious person with an entrepreneurial spirit, she started her own venture – The Alpha Events. They organize various events and activities, one of which is 7eb Nafsak – to promote health and fitness.
Sara’s indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment serve as an inspiration to anyone fighting obesity or eating disorders. Her journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, and her contributions to the realm of healthcare in Egypt are nothing short of commendable. By creating meaningful initiatives like 7eb Nafsak, she is effecting positive change and fostering a healthier society.
Healthcare Everything interacted with Sara and got a few insights into her life and her contribution to the healthcare sector. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Kindly brief us about yourself and shed some light on your journey to venture into the healthcare sector.
I’ve been overweight since I was a child and lived almost 30 years of my life as an obese patient. I’ve tried everything anyone can imagine to lose weight, especially after I reached 150 Kg. In 2011 I had my first surgery to lose weight (Gastric Sleeve), and I lost almost 50 Kg in 1 year. But unfortunately, because it was not a suitable surgery for my case, I gained back all my lost weight.
After that I entered a closed loop of depression and emotional eating until after 7 years I decided, that’s enough, I have to get myself out of that loop. I was broke and had no money but I kept searching for a way to solve my problem until I found a way in Kasr El Ainy Hospital. In September 2017 I started a new journey to lose weight by having my Second surgery (Gastric bypass).
After 6 years of reaching my goal, I decided to help every person who suffers from the same problem, First, by sharing my knowledge. Second, by finding the best doctors to help me support obese patients through their journey.
And that was the beginning of the 7eb-Nafsak Initiative to support obese and overweight patients.
What services and responsibilities are you part of on a daily basis?
Sharing the right knowledge with the patients and the community is one of the important responsibilities on our shoulders. Especially with the huge number of bullies which affects badly on our friends.
Also, we are trying to find the best doctors and create a supporting community for people with eating disorders.
What is your opinion on aligning high-quality patient care with newer technological developments, especially when it comes to catering to the dynamic needs of the patients?
Using technology in all industries is a must, and in medical services, it’s very important to combine technology and human communication.
What R&D operations are you conducting at present and why?
Learning the newest ways to support patients, fight bullying, and try to transfer our knowledge into our community.
On the other side, we have made a partnership with another initiative to train professionals on how to work with patients using the latest treatment techniques.
What are some of the challenges you face when conducting operations and how do you turn them into opportunities for growth?
– Fund: Took a loan from my cousin to launch the first event- I paid him back after the companies paid for their sponsorship packages.
– Timing: I was eager to make the first day of the event on World Obesity Day, but as it was on the 4th of March, it wasn’t the best timing because March is full of events. So, I decided to change the timing because it’s not necessary to be attached to World Day as much as helping people.
Being an industry expert, would you like to give advice to budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the healthcare sector that you are catering to?
Believe in your dream, knowledge is the key to success so don’t be shy to ask, always keep learning, and the most important advice: Patient’s health is your first priority.
How do you envision scaling your services and operations in 2023 and beyond?
First by forming an NGO as it will be easy to get support from companies.
After getting funds from organizations and making deals with companies and hospitals to buy medical equipment from them, we can perform the surgery for the people who can’t afford the surgery cost. And also, we can get make the right curing panel from different medical specialties.
After the experiment’s success, we can Spread it to the Middle East to support the cause there.