Sunshine Story: After losing leg to cancer, Bangla cricketer finds new lease of life

Jun 27, 2017, 19:58 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

With dreams to play for his country, Rahman Zenith had everything going for him. But, it all came to naught, when he was diagnosed with cancer in his left knee in 2014

Zenith plays the guitar gifted to him by Pak singer Atif Aslam

Until three years ago, teenager Jamshedur Rahman Zenith was hailed as the 'golden boy' of the state-level cricket team in Dhaka, Bangladesh. With dreams to play for his country, Zenith had everything going for him. But, it all came to naught, when he was diagnosed with cancer in his left knee in 2014. In a matter of months, Zenith's dreams were crushed to smithereens as he was forced to amputate his leg to prevent the cancer from spreading. Zenith would have sunk into depression, had he not found his calling in music. The 19-year-old, who is currently being treated at the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Parel after his cancer relapsed last year, is now preparing to participate in an Indian music reality show.

Zenith playing cricket before his leg was amputated

Unexpected tragedy
Zenith was only 16 years old when his health suddenly started deteriorating. On the advice of doctors in Dhaka, his parents brought him to TMH, Parel. However, with the cancer spreading rapidly, doctors had no option, but to amputate his leg. This incident pushed the young boy into depression. "I wanted to become a cricketer and play for my country like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. But, after my surgery, I knew that I would never be able to play again. I was in so much pain," said Zenith, who keeps shuttling between Dhaka and Mumbai for treatment.

With his artificial foot

But during his treatment period, something unusual happened. The paediatric department of the hospital arranges various activities to keep patients motivated in their fight with cancer. Zenith happened to participate in one of the music workshops during their annual day Hope, and before he knew it, he had started learning to play the guitar. "I got so involved in music that I forgot all the pain. I almost found a new life," he said.

But, tragedy struck again last year, when his cancer recurred in his lung. Despite his deteriorating health condition, Zenith didn't give up singing. In fact, Pakistani singer Atif Aslam was so impressed with his singing that he sent him a guitar. "It was a surprise for him. We got in touch with the singer in Pakistan. He listened to his songs and was so touched that he not only called him up, but also gifted him a guitar," said Ameeta Bhatia, a coordinator at the paediatric department.

Jamshedur Rahman Zenith
Jamshedur Rahman Zenith

'Won't stop dreaming'
Zenith is currently learning to sing and play the guitar, and has gained popularity in Bangladesh. He recently star­ted uploading his videos on social media platforms. "I want to participate in a singing competition as it is my dream to form my own band. I don't want my disease to ruin my life. I would like to bring together people like me through music. I hope to start afresh with music."

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