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Meaningful convocation for a UPM student with epilepsy

By: Nur Syamila Kamarul Arefin
Photo By: Creative Media Section and Corporate Visibility

SERDANG, March 20 - Despite being diagnosed with seizures or epilepsy, Octovia Tiong Saiw Fang has managed to receive her Bachelor of Environmental Management at the 45th Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Convocation Ceremony.

Octovia said due to epilepsy, she had to extend her semesters for up to 5 years, which was supposed to be completed by the end of 2019 due to her frequent hospitalisations.

"Never give up" was her message to all the students who suffered from the same disease as her if they want to achieve something in life, even if it is difficult or takes longer.

“This is because, in UPM, I often experienced seizures. It had caused difficulties for me to focus on studies because of this disease,” she said.

“However, I had never been discouraged because I knew my weakness, and I had to be strong to fight against this disease if I wanted to succeed like my other friends,” she said during the interview at the 45th UPM Convocation Ceremony today.

Hailing from Sarawak, Octovia has three siblings, and she was raised by her single mother as her father had passed away when she was 13.

Nevertheless, her seizure was also a huge challenge for her when she was a student due to study stress and extreme fatigue.

"Because of that, I also gave up many times because when I overthink and stress myself, I would have seizures. Not only that, I was also ridiculed by my friends because of my disease.

“What I did was not to overthink about the disease, and you will be able to control yourself,” said Octovia despite receiving the degree later than her coursemates.

She added that the disease was very complicated and still needed treatment. - UPM

Date of Input: 20/03/2022 | Updated: 04/04/2022 | hairul_nizam


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