We walked into a house full of curtains, obstructing the light from coming in. Inside, we found a man with a child-like smile sitting on a chair, reading a newspaper. The light was shining straight through one of the curtains on his face, illuminating it with light. He illuminated us in a similar way when he had a talk with us.
Roop Chand, a 29-year-old lad is suffering from thyroid cancer. His story is special and also the spirit with which he has been fighting his illness. It all goes back to the time when he was born. He was declared dead until two hours later when he revived after many attempts by the ladies in his village.
When he was 6, Roop Chand was poisoned by one of his neighbours for which the reason remains unknown even now. He somehow managed to get through that also. One thing that persisted throughout his childhood till his adulthood was his weak immune system. Out of all children around him, he’d be the one who’d constantly suffer from cold, irrespective of any season. In his early teenage years, Roop Chand developed a tumour in his neck. It started to become a hindrance in his normal breathing process. He had to undergo several operations and biopsy tests. But the doctors ignored symptoms and thought that the treatment given was enough.
Yet, the cancer symptoms persisted and he felt sick. Few years later, the tumour developed again and it was worse this time. Roop Chand went to the doctor to get himself checked again and the diagnosis came out to be cancer that had spread in all his body. The doctors had given up and told Chand that there’s no treatment possible for him now. Worse, he was told that these are the last few months of his life and he should enjoy them. Still in his early twenties, the news was a hit on the hearts of Roop Chand and his family. His eyes still have the flashback from 22nd of October 2012 when he was informed of all this.
Never giving up hope, he continued his education and never thought of dropping his studies. Through the internet and help from some friends, Chand found CanSupport. Interestingly, when the team came to meet him for the first time, they asked him where the patient was. He was completely unrecognizable because of his cheerful attitude and positive outlook. He would often call up the team and get counselling through phone only. A year later when a cancerous tumour developed in his spinal cord, he became paralysed. His illness had now taken over all his life. He couldn’t walk, couldn’t move on his own and even his wish of teaching kids could now not be fulfilled.
Roop Chand had lost his belief in God’s existence. But then his inner positive self-came to the fore that told him to stay motivated. When CanSupport visited him to provide palliative care, he would talk about how life should be lived, no matter how short it is. Quoting a professor of his, Roop Chand goes by the belief, ‘just float, don’t swim’. He has come a long way in his journey and none of it could have been possible had it not been for his inner strength. He still wants to work, not for monetary purposes but more for getting busy in his life. He has accepted his illness and knows that it is a part of his life and not his whole life. Roop Chand, with his courage and self-motivation, is a true dreamer and fighter in the realest sense. CanSupport helped him by walking with him but he led the way all along.