Cuttack: Finding power in adversity is ultimate test of human will power and strength. And when the adversity is on the health front, it is both an emotional and physical upheaval. So it was for Swagatika Acharya, a fourth year law student of SOA University.
Swagatika was struck with cancer Nasopharynx (the upper part of the pharynx, connecting with the nasal cavity above the soft palate) at the age of 19 and survived to tell her tale of grit and determination to fight the disease and become an inspiration to other sufferers.
A native of Bidanasi in Cuttack, Swagatika was good in both studies and sports. Life was looking up on both the fronts when she was diagnosed with the disease.
The battle with cancer took her three years. She confronted the disease head on with a lot of patience and a positive mindset. Her parents, Manoranjan and Purnima Acharya worried a lot about their daughter.
Her ordeal with chemotherapy and its side effects ended after three years. “I was not able to eat, even talk properly. I did not have hair after chemotherapy. Some friends maintained a distance with me at that time,” she said.
Swagatika is now living a healthy life and has become an inspiration for other cancer patients. She has been helping in taking cancer patients to the hospital. “I have formed a group with my friends to help people. Having gone through the struggle, I can understand and feel the pain of the people,” said Swagatika.
“I am trying to change the mindset of the people towards cancer patients. Sometimes, they are treated differently by the society. As a result, patients hesitate in coming forward for treatment, which is unfortunate. I want to change all that,” she added.