Confronting cancer at 21 and combating it

One of the primary reasons I added the Stories section to my website was to create a safe space for me and others like me to share their journeys and life experiences with the world. It gives me immense joy to see this slowly turn into a platform for people to not just share but also to inspire. While some stories have been about travel and food, some have been about businesses and boss women; this time around, I am sharing a story of a survivor.

Imagine being a scholar student in one of the top colleges of Gujarat. Well, Parth was just that. At 18, he made his way to Ahmedabad from Surat to pursue a career in Chemical Engineering. A scholarship student with an unblemished transcript of straight As, Parth’s future was nothing but sunny bright. But fate had other plans, as all stories have their twists and turns, Parth’s turn came in the form of Osteosarcoma, a type of knee cancer.

In the July of 2018, in his final year of college, Parth had trouble bending his knee. A quick trip to the doctor and an x-ray showed what none of us are ever too prepared to hear. At 21, about to graduate, Parth’s world turned upside down.

His parents, a mechanic and a homemaker, rushed him back to Surat and made multiple trips to the hospitals and doctors before coming to Ahmedabad for his surgery. They scraped together every bit of their savings and resources to save their son’s life. Something any of us would do for our kids. His surgery removed the tumour but a part of his leg had to be grafted with metal prosthetics. It may have saved his life but complete recovery is a long road.

I met with Parth over a cup of chai to talk about how life as a 21 year-old that has had such a close call with cancer. “My education definitely took a backseat. The field of chemicals is one that requires a lot of on-ground work, my leg situation is a major red flag for companies that offer placements even though my grades are above par”, said Parth who still suffers from a slight limp and occasional pain. He regularly goes for physiotherapy to rehabilitate his leg. We asked him what his biggest fear is, “I am extremely concerned about my parents and feel guilty for having put them through so much distress both financially and emotionally”, said Parth.

“It is very disheartening to see your child suffer from something that’s beyond your control. We sent him to Ahmedabad hoping a better education would help him secure a better future”, said Chaya Mehta, Parth’s mother, about how she is coping with the situation.

Parth is under the responsible aid of KarunaKare Foundation that aims to support cancer-patients and their families emotionally, financially and socially. It was founded in 2004 by a cancer survivor himself to help those that are going through the same trauma him and his family once did. In times like these, it is essential we extend love, kindness and above all, hope to those who are having a hard time believing in themselves and having faith.

Parth is still undergoing treatment for complete recovery and if you wish to assist him, you can get in touch with KarunaKare Foundation through the details mentioned below:

For direct  payment  to bank :
Name of Acc: Karunakare Foundation
Acc no: 039494600000967

Bank: Yes Bank Naranpura branch, Ahmedabad
IFSC code YESB0000394

For Cheque/Draft.
Karunakare Foundation
B 808 Ganesh Plaza,
Near Navrangpura Post Office,
Mobile:  98250 13414

Please inform Mr. Ushakant Shah about your donations via Whatsapp on +91 98250 13414. They also provide tax-deduction certificates for the same.

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