Your names/a little about yourself ?
Hülya Durmaz from Hagen, Germany. Currently living in Stuttgart, Germany.
What do you do?
Professionally I am fulltime employed as course manager for a professional academy and in my spare time I work together with other amputees to help improve the lives of young people who became disabled through accidents or illnesses. I am also a very spiritual person who likes to join seminars, meditation groups etc. and in recent times my finace Dennis and me have created our first instagram account which was his idea as his big hobby is photography and he thought that my way of handling my disability and my attitude towards it might motivate others in similar challenging situations. It is actually a lot of fun taking these pictures. We are very close and love spending time together. He comes up with the most crazy ideas like putting me in shopping bags or wheelbarrows. It is all a lot of fun and people seem to like. We get a lot of feedback from people all around the world who get inspired by these pictures. I never felt of being an inspiration for others or something like that. I am just simply me, living my life and I never had a problem with being who I am and looking the way I look.
Why did you get into that?
I think it is important that people start seeing beauty not as a concept but as something which can be seen in all of us. I do realize that seeing a woman with only half a body, seeing scars, leg stumps and deformed hands is not considered beautiful. But this isn't the point, beauty lies in the fact that me and thousands of other people out there do not hide their weaknesses but show that this is nothing to be ashamed about. Beauty does not lie scars or missing limbs but in the self confidence to be able to show these scars and be happy with who you are in this world.
What's your story?
I was born with deformed hands and legs in 1983. I spent most of my life until I was six years old in and out of hospital having more than 20 operations. finally the doctors were able to fix my legs and I walked until I was 18 when some of the screws the doctors have put in to fix my bones got infected and I was left battling sepsis. In order to save my life, doctors had to amputate both of my legs above the knee and I was left with short stumps.
What struggles have you over come and how?
I never had any issues being the "legless girl with the strange hands". I just lived my live. Did my school, college, always have been a fulltime worker, lived independently. Of course I take longer to do some things and for other things I depend on help but I easily adapt to new situations. I used prosthetic legs to get around but you can also find me in wheelchair, on a skateboard or simply walking on my hands on the ground. Whatever is needed for the task. I do not really think about it and I do not have the feeling I have overcome anything. I just live.
how do you stay positive and focused?
Well, this is easy. :) Who really wants to be sad and miserable? Of course it helps to have people around you who do support you. My finance Dennis, is..I know this sounds corny :)...my rock. He really is. There is so much love he gives me. Of course this helps and my life is beautiful through our relationship but I am confident that whatever situation you might be in, alone or together with your loved ones, if you really want to be happy, work hard for it, you will get there and you will realize that you will only be able to find this place inside yourself.
Any words of advice for future girl bosses following in your footsteps?
Be yourself, believe in yourself and trust yourself. We are all individuals but we are also all connected on this beautiful planet we call earth. Life is good and if you feel it isn't, make it good!
What is one quote you stand by
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."