On World Cancer Day, here is a heart-warming story of a young athlete, who not only fought the dreaded disease, but resumed his sporting career to win another national gold.
With two international silver medals and nine national-level golds in kick-boxing, Girish R. Gowda never imagined the dreaded C word would halt his career while still in his prime.
The 31-year-old fully fit boxer had a bout of viral fever and on the advice of his family doctor took some medication. Soon he started bleeding from his nose and mouth.
Assuming something was seriously wrong, he went in for a lab test as advised by his physician. The tests showed his platelet count oscillating wildly every hour.
Girish’ world fell apart as he was he was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in March 2017.
Girish met Dr. Hari Menon at Cytecare Cancer Hospitals, who put him immediately on treatment which continued for the next four months. Those weeks saw Girish undergo major lifestyle and bodily changes. A fighter that he always was, Girish fought severe side effects during this period. During later stages of treatment, he kick-boxed the challenges and trauma with complete confidence to start his day-to-day activities afresh.
Speaking about this case, Dr. Menon, Consultant, Haemato Oncology said, “Girish was diagnosed with a grave medical illness that was potentially life-threatening. He had to go overcome unique challenges – initially due to the disease itself and subsequently due to some unusual side effects related to his treatment. However, he remained stoic and brave, overcoming these problems in his stride. He has remained focused on getting better and responding fully to treatment.”
Dr Menon, recalling Girish on World Cancer Day said while medical science had answers to specific problems in cancer leading to its cure, it is also important for afflicted patients to remain positive and to persevere to get back into the mainstream and continue to pursue their dreams.
Girish works as a fitness trainer and trains celebrities in kickboxing. Currently, he is a National kickboxing coach and after fighting cancer for almost 10 months, Girish has made a comeback and won another National Gold Medal in the recently concluded Wako India Kickboxing Federation Championship in Delhi.
As a gesture of gratitude, Girish presented this medal to Cytecare Hospital to inspire others like him to fight the battle against cancer.
Girish said: “I dedicate my achievement to Cytecare, which helped me beat cancer the right way. I hope this gift will motivate other patients who suffer from the disease and overcome their trauma.”
He also thanked the staff for their care and concern, and called them the real heroes who were instrumental in his recovery.
CEO of Cytecare Hospital, Suresh Ramu said, “We are filled with emotions of pride, joy, and gratitude whenever we meet Girlish and learn about his achievements. He lives one of our core organizational values: Grit – a combination of passion and perseverance, the ability to fight in difficult times with courage. We learn from him that we must never give up and keep doing our best for every single cancer patient.”
Girish still visits Cytecare for follow-up treatment. On World Cancer Day 2018, specialists are of the opinion that cancer can be fought more effectively now than a few decades ago.
“Diagnostic technologies are changing rapidly to allow doctors to screen and detect cancers early. And many cancers can be cured if detected early. There is a need to aggressively step up all efforts on cancer awareness and screening. At Cytecare Cancer Hospitals, we commit ourselves even more to this cause each year when we celebrate World Cancer Day,” said Ramu.