Medical student from Wembley overcomes the odds to star in My Extreme Stammer and Me
PUBLISHED: 07:28 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:15 13 September 2018
A medical student from Wembley who has learned to live with his stammer has launched a charity to support those who struggle.
Ishaq Sardar has triumphed over adversity to study at Queen Mary University where he is in his final year.
The 21-year-old was dissuaded from speaking at debating clubs at school and market down in a medical school exam for stuttering so no small achievement.
But tonight, he’s starring in My Extreme Stammer and Me, which airs on 5Star at 9pm.
He said: “It is exciting to be part of this documentary and see myself on TV. It’s a great platform and I want to make sure I do something with it, to help further my charity and help people, that’s what’s most important and this is such a great opportunity to do that.”
His stammer started aged three, but he said he cannot remember a time when he didn’t have it.
He said: “I still stammer. If you still stammer as an adult you will likely stammer for the rest of your life, contrary to the Hollywood narrative.
“The journey that lies ahead is one of acceptance, a mission to accept my speech dysfluency for what it is and to keep moving forward, no matter how much I stagger, or stammer.”
His charity, Speaking Through Stigma, aims to raise awareness and help those suffering from the affliction.
One of three children, he said: “I really was lucky. My family and friends have always been very supportive. If someone would ever tease me about it, there would always immediately be someone to say that that was crossing a line. Unfortunately I know many others have not been as lucky.”
He added: “Words are so deadly and can have such a detrimental effect on a young child. What you perceive to be an off-the-cuff comment said in the past could have changed the trajectory of someone’s future.
“You cannot fault people for what they do not know. My charity involves getting people who suffer from various disabilities to speak at schools in an attempt to inform and reduce stigma. If this saves just one child from an offhand comment, that is my mission accomplished.”
He urges young stutterers to “stammer loudly and proudly. You have a voice, and no one can take it away, so don’t you dare think about taking away your own voice”.
But he also has a message for fluent people. “Do not dissuade someone who stammers from doing something because you think they will struggle,” he said. “They know what they can do, and will opt out themselves if they’re not comfortable.
“If someone stammers, do not automatically assume they are not confident. It could just be the way they’re wired!”
Watch My Extreme Stammer and Me on 5Star tonight at 9pm