April 8, 2018, might be the last day of for Nidhi Baipotu (9-year-old) and her mother Jyoti Baipotu if Nidhi’s father did not console them. Nidhi went through foot surgery because of cancer having no clue that life has something special for her. Now she is handicapped by her left foot but not by her achievements and big dreams in life.
Stories of Yuvraj Singh and Lance Armstrong are best examples for battling cancer to emerge victorious. They both triumphed over cancer and achieved extraordinary. They are an inspiration for those who diagnose with cancer. However, They were already achieved before being a cancer patient.
Yuvraj Singh won the precious ICC World Cup trophy at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai along with the player-of-the-tournament award. He became the first player ever to take five wickets and score 50 runs in a World Cup match, after the performance against Ireland.
Lance Armstrong has won the U.S. amateur national championship at the age of 20, in 1991. In 1993 he won world championship. In 1995 he won another Tour de France stage and finished the race for the first time, in 36th place.
Nidhi’s story is different but no less inspiring than Yuvraj’s and Lances’s stories. Nidhi’s family stays in Kurla’s slum area in a two-floor (ground and first floor). Both the rooms are so small that even a single size bed can’t be placed there. Nidhi’s father Keshava Rao Baipotu works in Qatar as a driver who earns just hand to mouth. Nidhi has an elder brother who stays in a hostel for study. Life was running normally having no clue that one of the dangerous diseases is coming to scare them.
In 2016 Nidhi started to feel pain in her left leg. Her mother started consulting doctors. After many check-ups and running here and there for the treatment they unveiled that Nidhi is suffering from cancer (first stage). The treatment started. Till then they were not as shocked as they were when doctors told that Nidhi’s thigh of left leg needed to be amputated.
“I was shocked. I wanted to end both of us life because everything ended. If it was just a disease I would not have thought of suicide. But being a handicap for a girl is very painful to live with,” tears were rolling down while Jyoti shared the heart-wrenching moment. She further said that Nidhi’s father consoled her and motivated her to tackle the situation. “Although Nidhi’s father was not with us at that hard time but he is the one who made me a fighter to deal with Nidhi’s cancer,” added Jyoti.
Nidhi’s thigh was amputated. All the treatment was done in Tata Memorial Hospital for free of cost. While treatment was going on Nidhi and her mother did not know that something extraordinary achievement is awaiting Nidhi. Nidhi was trained for swimming, chess, race and rifle shooting by the non-profit organisation called ImPaCCT Foundation. Within four months Nidhi was so expert in them that she won gold medals in chess, swimming and running. Moreover, she won a bronze medal in rifle shooting. The match was organised by The World Children’s Winners Game in July this year for under 9-year-old children, specially for cancer patients.
Nidhi shared her experience while practising and said, “Initially I was scared while swimming but as I practised I gained momentum and learnt to swim.” Nidhi’s mother said that Nidhi is very stubborn. If she wants to do something she will do against all odds. “I would like to thank Amita Bhatia (from ImPaCCT Foundation) for motivation and all the support she gave to me and my daughter” added Nidhi’s mother.
As soon as Nidhi came back from Russia with achievements local NGOs started to praise her and felicitate her. Now her mother feels both sorrow and happiness. “I am both happy and sad for Nidhi. I am happy because Nidhi has achieved extraordinary. However, I am also sad because Nidhi can’t live a life as normal as other girls,” added Jyoti.
Although, Nidhi can’t live as normal as other girls but she has big dream. She wants to do something great for the society. “I want to become a collector and help poor people to reduce poverty. I also want to make a better society,” said Nidhi.
Nidhi’s story is an inspiration for all who are suffering from cancer and their family members. Cancer isn’t the end of life. Patients need emotional and financial support to start a new and extraordinary life.