Rashmi Rekha Das

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Having said that, no wonder everyone in today’s world feels scared of getting cancer. The possibilities of painful treatments, loss of hair, spread of cancer germs and eventual death are what give common people sleepless nights. 

But there is a need to understand that getting cancer is not the end of the world. No doubt it is a dreaded disease but fighting against cancer is important. While many stop living their life after being detected with cancer, some never stop fighting till their last breath. 

Let’s meet one such fighter from Odisha's Malkangiri district. He has been battling blood cancer for the last few years. With his mother, staunchly by his side through this tough period, Malkangiri-based Bivas Das is hoping he can take on this battle for life.

At a time when youths of his age are spending time on social media, this 21-year-old M-79 resident Bivas is looking after his family despite being diagnosed with blood cancer.

As he is unable to do hard work, he sells balloons. 

He said, “I began to experience severe pain in my stomach. Besides, I developed a swollen stomach. It was then I was admitted to a Hyderabad-based hospital where doctors diagnosed me with blood cancer and referred me to Tata Memorial Hospital. As it is an expensive affair for a person like me, I stopped going to the hospital for my treatment. Now I am undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar.”

He went on to add: “I had to take loan to meet my medical expenses. As I am unable to do hard work, I started selling balloons to run my family and bear my medical expenses. However, whatever I am getting by selling balloons is very meager to repay loan, run my family and buy medicine for me.”

Despite his diagnosis, Bivas remains focused and positive.  

His parents failed to provide him education due to financial instability. His mother said, “We had nothing at home. We are clueless as to how to meet his treat him. Although doctors have asked him not to go out, he has to work as we have no other option.”

A local resident said, “He is selling balloons at parties and functions. Villagers are also helping him some time. If he is not provided government facilities, meeting his treatment expenses will be next to impossible for his family. His family members can never arrange Rs 15-20,000 for his treatment every month.”

Reported by Jitendra Beura, OTV