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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

19 Jan 2023

Often when life catapults a curveball in your direction it throws you off balance and often it happens right in the middle of life. It knocks the wind right out of you, and takes more than a minute to fully comprehend the challenge you are facing.


Dr Aisyah was poised to celebrate her 21st birthday before she received news that upended life as she knew it. She was diagnosed with cancer while she was studying medicine and was forced to take a year off to focus on treatments and recuperation. Through the struggles and pain, Dr Aisyah graduated and commenced her housemanship, thinking the worst was behind her but life said not quite.


This time around, Dr Aisyah was diagnosed with a different cancer and soon was embroiled in another round of grueling treatment course and recovery. Once again, Dr Aisyah soldiered on and found herself in remission and a Medical Officer in Kajang Hospital. Without missing a beat, Dr Aisyah set her sights on embarking on Master in Sports Medicine at Universiti Malaya. It was at this point that Dr Aisyah had to confront another hurdle in life, in the form of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unbeknownst to her, she had accumulated trauma throughout her fight against cancer and Dr Aisyah had to make a tough call. Determined to take charge of her mental health, Dr Aisyah took time off to confront her demons and pivot her life into a different direction.


Despite all the background noise, Dr Aisyah never let up on her fitness. After recuperating from her chemo cycles, she launched herself into a fitness routine with a single-minded determination to normalise everything as much as possible. It was an important component in her life and eventually became something integral to her journey of thriving. Dr Aisyah turned to exercise not only to shift the weight she gained due to chemotherapy but most importantly to establish some semblance of normality in her life after getting diagnosed.

She relentlessly worked with a personal trainer for 2 years and found herself looking and feeling more like her old self. Through her fitness training, her coach identified her coachable trait. Soon she went from a client wanting to improve her fitness to a high-performance athlete. Her personal trainer turned out to be a body builder as well as a body builder competition judge. He saw Dr Aisyah’s potential and decided to harness her innate physical abilities.

Following a regime, her personal trainer turned coach set for her, Dr Aisyah soon found herself competing in her first body building competition in 2015 called the Man of Steel. She was ecstatic when she won 3rd place in the prestigious competition and was even offered an athlete sponsorship by an athlete supplement company. This marked the beginning of her journey transforming her from a patient to a high performing athlete. Dr Aisyah was no longer about the business of surviving, instead she was fully focused on thriving.

Professionally, Dr Aisyah channeled her experience as a doctor, patient and high performing athlete into her business, Dr Aisyah Medical Fitness.

She manages clients with sports injury, weight management issues and sports performance for recreational athletes and elite athletes. Dr Aisyah combines medicine with fitness by providing customised programmes for her clients. Above all Dr Aisyah emphasizes on a safe and holistic approach which takes into account her clients’ comorbidities and pre-existing injury if any. Dr Aisyah observed that it’s not particularly easy to gain access to a sports medicine doctor unless you are an athlete. This is where Dr Aisyah has found her niche, providing her services to the recreational athlete and the public. Dr Aisyah’s service has been sought after even by a client all the way from Andorra who found her through social media as the combination of sports performance and medical advice she provides is unique.


As Dr Aisyah was busy focusing on thriving in all aspects of her life, she caught the dreaded covid and was later diagnosed with Covid Myocarditis in August 2021. This caused her to re-examine her current fitness regime and adapt to her condition. Fast forward to September 2022, Dr Aisyah was selected to compete in a top tier competition called NABBA Universe in United Kingdom. Not only did she manage to be competition ready in a mere 8 weeks, but Dr Aiysah also emerged as one of the top 3 winners.


By now life has established that Dr Aisyah is not one to be trifled with. Despite the significant achievement, Dr Aisyah expresses that the achievement she is most proud of is her ability to pivot her surviving mindset to a thriving mindset. Since she was first diagnosed with cancer, all she wanted was to be and feel normal. She has relentlessly put in work towards improving her fitness despite her cancer diagnoses and addressed the needs of her mental health. This led her to tap into her experience as a patient and relate to her clients authentically.


Dr Aisyah is truly a unique healthcare provider as she has seen both sides of the coin and understands empathy like no other. Dr Aisyah truly is the epitome of the saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

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