A wonderfully gifted badminton player, a life as disciplined as any, a father to two doting daughters and an amazing women for a wife. Two years back this perfect world got shattered. This fine young man was diagnosed with probably the most debilitating condition of our time, “Parkinson’s Disease”. It is often said, what can’t kill you, only makes you stronger. But, what if it could kill? How do you go about your today while being fully aware of the inevitability of what is in store tomorrow? The promise of the future that keeps us moving forward turns on its head and all that we are starring at is an endless chasm of hopelessness.
While some succumb to their fates, there are these few brave hearts who continue to fight every day, every moment. This post is about one such brave heart. With a rapidly worsening condition accentuated even further by severe side effects of medications, it was only a matter of time. Like other degenerative diseases, his condition initially manifested itself in the form of physical disability only to progress rapidly and affect his mental wellbeing as well. Given the taboo and limited information, he started to lead a reclusive life with his agony being the sole companion. Within six months of diagnosis, he had gone from a person full of life, to someone trying to hold on to every thread of his life.
Quite often, all that we need in moments of such despair is a flicker of hope. Luckily, for him, that promise of a better tomorrow came about from his incredibly courageous family. The strength of his family somehow managed to ignite his depleted reserves of determination. He had to stand up back again, not just for himself, but, for the sake of his family as well and that is precisely what he did. Making subtle changes to his medications, practicing rigorous yoga and most importantly staying away from any form of stress, he had decided to fight back. From being at the verge of being shown the doors at workplace, as I write this, he is on his way back from an assignment abroad for his company. Life has almost come full circle for him.
As an early stage entrepreneur, it is all about frequent lows with sporadic highs. At every low, you believe, this is the end, only, to look at him and wonder, if a person can keep fighting even with the knowledge that life is not going to give him a second chance, should I just give up without a struggle? The modicum of success we have had last year with our dream, AllizHealth, owes a lot to this person. We have learnt and been guided by the steely resolves of this individual. On a lighter note, we have been coaxing him to start writing about his condition and how is coping with it. Share his story with the countless others who can benefit from his journey.
It is rather unfortunate that in our country, the lack of awareness on such conditions further worsens the situation. Many patients try to keep their condition a secret out of fear and embarrassment. Embarrassment stems from the fact that the symptoms are difficult to conceal even in the initial stages and for some may even be socially inappropriate. It is time we realize the significance of building support groups to help such patients. Support group members can offer each other emotional and practical support. Getting together with other people who are facing similar challenges makes people more open to sharing feelings and experiences.
Yes, there are still days when this gentleman wakes up to fear of being pushed back to the dark days again. But, as he drags himself from his bed with all his determination, we all know that he would continue to fight and continue to inspire. Cheers!!!
“A winner is someone who gets up one more time than he is knocked down.”