M3 Features

Fighting cancer with crayons

বাংলা

May 17, 2014

Bed H 23 at the haematology wing of the Medical College and Hospital Calcutta (MCHC) has been Dibyendu Saha's home for eight months now. Each day is painful for the blood cancer patient. But instead of brooding over the fatal ailment, the 23-year-old has been turning his suffering into colourful canvases when he is not receiving chemotherapy.

The best treatment option is bone marrow transplant (BMT). But Dibyendu does not have any sibling and hence a donor has to be hunted for. Moreover, the cost of BMT is about Rs 10 lakh when a patient has a related donor. In case of Dibyendu, doctors estimate that could go up to Rs 30 lakh, which is beyond the means of Dibyendu's father Dilip Chandra Saha, who runs a road-side stall in Manicktala.

Doctors at MCHC are planning to exhibit Dibyendu's paintings and use the money for his BMT. During rounds in the ward, doctors came across the patient engrossed in paintings. One of them came up with the idea of either auctioning or putting his work on exhibition.

"I am stuck in the hospital with a fatal ailment at a time when I should have attending classes in the college. It pains me. So I try to get buried in my work instead of cribbing," Dibeyndu told TOI.

It started with frequent bouts of fever about a year ago. Each of the local doctors would prescribe medication for fever. But the fever would return soon. Last August, a bout of fever that lasted for 25 days set the alarm bell ringing. Dibyendu was brought to MCHC in September where he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

"I am ready for everything to save my only son. But I earn about Rs 3000 a month. I feel so unworthy at times for my inability to do much for my son," said Dilip Chandra.

Most of Dibyendu's sketches and paintings feature different birds. Probably his longing to escape from the killer disease has found a vent on his canvas.

"We have spoken to some individuals who have shown interest in Dibyendu's painting. If everything goes well, we plan to exhibit his paintings and raise fund for a BMT," said Prantar Chakrabarti of the Institute of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine at MCHC.

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