I learned to cultivate joy from a young age. It was either that or the option to give in to despair and consider my life to be over before it had even started. I was just six months old when I was diagnosed with Hyperlipidemia — a condition that leads to increased levels of any or all lipoproteins in the blood. And then, at the age of 10, the discovery of a leak in the aortic valve of my heart sentenced me to an adolescence of surgeries and visits to the doctors. The outcome often looked grim. But I soon discovered that my outlook did not have to be a miserable one.The doctors tried to put off replacing my valve as long as they could but a replacement was eventually needed. I was almost 18 when I had my first surgery. And just 10 months after that the doctors diagnosed some blockages in my heart, which led to a bypass surgery when I was 19. Life was good for a few years following this, but not for long. After a car accident at the age of 27, I had a burst of pain in my hips. While I initially thought it must be a muscle tear, the doctors later found that I has avascular necrosis, which is basically the death of bone tissue because of the lack of blood supply.