SAN ANTONIO – A local graduating senior is using what she learned while fighting a neurological disease to help a small community in Mexico.
“In April of my sophomore year, so at the end of 10th grade, I was diagnosed with an illness called Third Nerve Palsy,” said Sophie Jaafar, of Saint Mary’s Hall.
Jaafar said she would get dizzy out of nowhere, have pain in her eyes, and then her left eye closed completely.
That’s when the hospital tests began.
“I went through a lot of MRI scans and different types of testing for different neurological conditions. And they decided that it was third nerve palsy, which is inflammation of the third nerve in my brain, and they still don’t know the cause of it,” Jaafar said.
Doctors deemed her case an anomaly.
“It’s acute disseminating Ancef of myelitis,” Jaafar said.
The trials and tribulations of her diagnosis inspired Sophie to do good for those with less.
“After undergoing some obstacles myself, I realized that there are people that,” Jaafar said. “Struggle with things that we don’t even see, and I just wanted to help a small community in hopes of maybe doing something bigger at some point in my life.”
Inspired to help, she founded her own philanthropy.
“I started an organization called Texas Cares for Kids. And through this organization, I gather volunteers here at school, it’s all facilitated through Saint Mary’s Hall and we make care packages for underprivileged children and Sabinas, Mexico,” Jaafar said.
These care packages have everything from food to toiletries. But her diagnosis did not just inspire her to help others. It’s also inspired her to start writing.
“An even bigger passion for since I was sick was my writing because when I was sick, that was something that was taken away from me not being able to really see the pen and paper as I was before,” Jaafar said. “That was something I wasn’t really able to do.”
Next year Sophie is set to go to Texas A&M University, where she plans to major in communications and hopes to use her passion for writing.