Dubai: Student battling stage 4 cancer scores 97% in CBSE exams from hospital bed
17-year-old Bibin Baldev Raj aspires to become a lawyer.
A 17-year-old Dubai student has overcome the dual challenge of cancer and the Covid-19 pandemic to smash his way to a whopping 97.2 per cent in the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Grade 12 exams, the results of which were declared on Friday, July 30.
Bibin Baldev Raj, who is battling stage 4 of Ewing’s sarcoma — a rare type of cancer that occurs in bones — prepared for the exams right from his hospital bed.
The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for this GEMS Our Own Indian School student as learning shifted to online classrooms.
“With remote learning, I could attend classes from the hospital bed, as my treatment was going on. Spending so much screen time daily was a problem, as it was a new concept. However, I persisted and prepared. I did well in pre-boards and at later stages,” he said.
Raj, a mixed stream student, scored 98 marks each in English and mass media studies, 97 marks each in home science and marketing, and 96 marks in economics. He came third in his stream in his school.
“Everyone in my school — including teachers, friends, family members — and my parents Baldev Raj and Meena Kumari, and sister Jasmine have helped me achieve my goals,” he said.
Initially, he was undergoing treatment at Al Zahra Hospital. He is currently being treated at American Oncology Institute, Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab.
“Doctors have prescribed six cycles of chemotherapy. I’ve finished receiving my second cycle, and the next will start on Tuesday. It may take up to three months for the treatment to be completed,” he added.
Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, president, Emirates Oncology Society, who treated Raj, is in awe of his determination to beat cancer.
“Although Raj is in the advanced stages of cancer, it didn’t dent his confidence. Despite chemotherapy and complications, he was always studying from the hospital. Whenever I passed by his room, he was engrossed with his textbooks. He returned to India a while back. He has scored such excellent marks. I’m so happy for him and very proud of his achievement. There is no limit to his aspirations. I’m sure he will soon beat cancer,” said the director of oncology at VPS Healthcare.
During the last four years of fighting cancer, Raj has also found time for several humanitarian activities. He is the recipient of the prestigious Diana Award 2019 for service through his non-profit organisation, ‘The Smile Guild’. He has also co-founded a non-profit called ‘Umeed’.
Last year, Raj was the president of the school council, the secretary-general of the 15th UN Simulation Conference hosted by his school and took part in several international Model UN conferences as a member of the executive board.
“Such activities have kept me upbeat and afloat. I’m preparing for my college admission applications. I plan to study international law. I wish to become a lawyer,” Raj added.
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