Monday, 6 July 2009

Despite leukaemia, 20-yr-old scores first class in BCom

When the going got tough, 20-year-old Bhakti Galiya, got going. Bhakti, a student of Mithibai College who has leukaemia since three years, has just passed her BCom exam with 62 per cent marks.
This, despite juggling studies, visits to doctors and coping with the stress of an illness.
“A few months before the exam, I was nervous, but I was sure I had to appear,” said Bhakti, the determination in her voice evident.
“Thanks to the support from my professors, friends and family members, I soldiered on,” said Bhakti.
She has had to complete nine cycles of treatment that included 30 chemotherapies and nine radiation sessions.
Also, the treatment cost was too steep for Bhakti’s family. Her father, Umesh, is a real estate agent. They live in Jogeshwari (East).
Due to the stigma attached to her disease, she lost out on many of her school and college friends. “Now I am left with only two college friends who have been there for me through thick and thin,” Bhakti said.
Her best friend Kinjal Shah, said: “I have learnt a lot from Bhakti. She is an inspiration for me.”
Her professors too have a word of praise for Bhakti.
“During my 22 years of teaching, I have not come across anyone like her,” said Professor Sonali Chatterjee. “She did not opt for a writer despite having difficulty writing papers.”
She now aspires to do an MBA, after which she hopes to reach out to cancer patients in whatever way she can.
Today, Bhakti’s ailment is down from 77 per cent to two per cent although she has been advised to continue chemo-therapy at regular intervals.
“One should never lose hope,” is Bhakti’s credo in life.
Bhakti believes her family’s encouragement has helped translate her dreams into reality.
“We do not know what life has in store,” said Bhakti’s mother, Geeta. “But, as parents we want to make her strong enough to face anything that comes her way.”

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