My name is Iraboty Kazi and I am the founder and director of Autoimmune Disease Awareness Society [AIDAS]. That’s my opener, which believe or not took me awhile to say out loud- not because Autoimmune Disease Awareness Society is a incredibly difficult to say but because  I still struggle to believe it. Why bother saying it?! Because AIDAS is probably one of the best parts of me and I believe in leading with best your foot forward!

I studied Comparative Literature and Culture at Western University. While studying there, I decided to work part-time at the Pride Library. I chose to work there because I was interested in the content of library, rather than the profession. That quickly changed as I enjoyed library work so much that I not only worked but started volunteering there as well. I decided to enroll in the MLIS program at Western [surprise, surprise]. I liked the program but I didn’t love it. I felt as if something was missing. So I took sometime off after completing my degree and decided to go Carleton University to study Art History, which I loved! My life began to feel somewhat settled…until the biggest surprise of my life … I was diagnosed with an extremely rare and painful autoimmune disease! Going from being an average human to a hospitalized medical marvel – talk about change, eh?

I cannot do much of the physical activities from my “pre-autoimmune disease” life but I am the most productive I have ever been. Initially, I felt useless for not being able to contribute to society but then I started doing some fundraising for the Cancer Society [while being bedridden]. The support I received infused me with a new found sense of confidence. So I began AIDAS to not only to create awareness of the way autoimmune diseases affect millions of people but because I felt the need to do more.  I want to help others, provide information, organize events, connect with the community… wait a minute…who does that for a living? A LIBRARIAN! What?! So more I work on AIDAS, the more my library related interests and desire to work in a library setting grow.

Thus returneth the prodigal librarian!


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