CAS brought Suresh Pawar from rags to riches

I was born in a poor family comprising four siblings and uneducated parents. To add to it , my father was an alcoholic. Due to which he never had a permanent job. My mother ran the house doing domestic jobs but there was always scarcity of without money in the house, life was very tough and a day-to-day struggle. We never knew what it was to ‘lead a good life’. I cannot recollect even for a single day having stomachful meals or having all the necessary books etc. for school. At an age when kids eat chocolates, we used to add to family income working as a child labour by wrapping chocolates. But all these efforts were in vain as we always struggled to make both ends meet.

One fine day, my mother got to know about ‘Children Aid Society, Bal Kalyan Nagari. She got to know that in this government aided institution, education, accommodation as well as meals were provided at no cost. I had failed in class three as I did not know to read or write, which was a hindrance, but I secured admission there with great difficulty.

I wanted to study very hard, become an engineer and live a good life. I began dreaming of this and wanted it to be a reality. I had to put a lot of effort in my studies, but I soon overcame that, and I passed my third standard with good grades and was progressively getting better with each passing year.

In 1989, I secured 82%in my tenth standard and stood first in my school as well as CAS. I was well applauded for breaking all earlier records and felicitated by the then Social Welfare Minister Smt. Neela Satyanarayana. I felt happy and satisfied with my achievements.

After scoring a distinction I was wondering what to do next. I always nurtured dream of becoming an ‘Electrical engineer’. I was lucky as through Mr. Chaudankar Sir our principal and Mr. Indradev who extended a helping hand to fund my studies I could pursue my studies.

I secured admission to K J Somaiya Polytechnic and completed my diploma in three years securing a first division. After that I got a job with the prestigious BSES (now Adani Electricity) as a sub engineer.

My dream was of having a good job and owning an apartment have fulfilled. Subsequently I got married and had a beautiful wife and two lovely children and that was my family. Right now, I am dreaming of giving my children the best education and a very settled life.

In spite of all these commitments, I had not forget ‘Bal Kalyan Nagari’.I recalled one of Vinda Karandikar poems which ran as

Donors should keep giving…receivers should keep receiving…a stage will come when the receiver reaches out to the donor’s hand….my giving hand too have getting stronger by the day.

As an ex-student, I am doing my duty towards the institution with the concept ‘My Students’. My friends and myself started promoting the above concept by helping them with their studies as well as sports. We are organising programs to improve “Effective Study skills “as well as a lot of motivational programs. I am along with my ex. student helping the kids with studies. I always feeling indebted to the Institute and always wanted to give my best to it.

I was leading a good life and enjoying every bit of it. But destiny has its own ways. In July 2005, calamity struck and whole of Mumbai got flooded and struck my life too.

I started falling sick repeatedly. My weight decreased and was running mild temperature along with pain in my joints. Due to enlarged spleen, my appetite too went down. Doctors advised me to do my CBC as well as other pathological tests. After a few days, the reports showed that I had tested positive for CML. My WBC was in the range of 127,000 and my platelet count too was high. My world came crashing down and my family was most troubled with the news.

I was only 34 and such a blow. I was worried about my wife and kids and their future. The thought that like me will my children grow up as orphan …. The reason is my earlier past life. I was born in a poor family comprising four siblings and uneducated parents. My father was an alcoholic and my mother ran the house doing domestic jobs. So that the life was very tough and a day-to-day struggle. In the year 1981, when I was nine years old, my father passed away due to alcohol related problems. We were shattered. But my mother and we four siblings stood up again.

But next destiny of my life was not in my hand and was not fortunate. And again, the second time I was shattered due to this horrible disease. In short, a person receiving the Death Sentence a patient diagnosed with cancer share the same thoughts. Days are counted!!I too was feeling the same.

My Haematologist advised me to go Tata Memorial hospital for further treatment. After initial investigations, I was advised Bone marrow Transplant. I knew it was impossible as the cost was about Rs. 1.7 million and success rate only 47%. The cost was totally beyond my reach as even if sold all my assets it would not sum up to that amount.

The second option was to incur monthly expenditure of eight to ten thousand every month which too was beyond my reach. My future seemed very bleak as my dose of Hydroxyurea had to be doubled every week. I was dreading the thought that my end was near.

But at the same time, I was silently mustering up courage to fight the deadly disease. I always had the fighting streak in me. Very soon, I saw a ray of light, My Doctor informed me of a new drug Imatinib, which gave effective results and that it could be available at no cost from The Max Foundation. My doctor asked me to meet the head of Max Foundation in this regard.

After submitting the required documents, I began getting medicine. Despite a few side effects, the first month itself showed a lot of improvement. My CBC report was normal, and I put on little weight. I became very optimistic and enthusiastic about my life once again.

I started attending various meetings held By Friends Of Max and the physician’s panel discussion answered all my queries. I cannot recollect when I got close to Amma (Viji Venkatesh), the Max India Team, Friends of Max and other CML survivors. I feel very fortunate when I am asked to participate in a lot of knowledge sharing and motivational programs. I feel I can give my bit as a volunteer by being a part of such programs.

And there is no stopping for me. I want to live a fulfilled life. I continue to do my bit for Bal Kalyan Nagri kids. I conduct programs on ‘safety’, ’environment, ’cancer awareness‘ and other motivational topics. During all of this I am an active volunteer with ‘Friends of Max’ I feel have been victorious over Cancer.

Truly I am living a happy life now as compared to what I went through in the early years of my life. After eighteen years I have realised what “living a good life “means. I am living with blood cancer but not suffering it.

As I think ‘’life need not be long it should be awesome”. We are unnecessarily pulling the sadness that yet to come all the way to this moment that we are living.

Today i am working as Dy. GM at Adani Electricity Mumbai. I am leading a good life and enjoying every bit of it.