Being a terminally-ill cancer patient isn't stopping Rushabh Shikhare from giving his tenth-grade exams.
The 14-year-old resident of Mumbai, who is is suffering from metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma in its most advanced stage, will sit for the Maharashtra's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) from March 4, TOI reported.
"I have been studying for the exams like all my other friends. There was no way that I could be left behind and waste a year. I decided to appear for the exam and received tremendous support from my family," said Rushabh, a student of Vivekanand Sankul, Sanpada.
The cancer, which originated in a tumour in Rushabh's nasal passage, was detected last April. The disease has now spread to all his bones. The teenager is currently undergoing five-day chemotherapy session every three weeks, TOI reported. "The intent of treatment is to prolong survival. Looking at his positivity, we advanced the date of his last chemotherapy session so he doesn't have to miss any paper," said Tejinder Singh, medical oncologist, Fortis, Vashi.
Rushab returned home on Saturday. But his parents are worried about the stress of writing the exam for three hours. "We are extremely worried that he might not be able to sit through three hours of the paper, but he is strong willed and has
made up his mind," said his father, Deepak Shikhare, an assistant inspector with Mumbai police.
Rushab's school has also supported his determination to continue studying despite his illness. "We made sure that notes reached him on time and students studied with him to help understand concepts. During the practical examinations, we scheduled his orals on days when he did not have hospital visits," said Rashmi Vighne, his school principal.
While the teenage will not avail the services of a writer, TOI reported, he has requested for the use of pillows to rest his bones. "I have studied without thinking about my illness and am confident that I am well prepared for it and shall be able to pass the exam," he said.