Saturday, May 25, 2024

A real life star – Meet Morjina Begum, a cancer patient from Assam who made a name in the field of athletics

 

‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ – Assam’s athlete Morjina Begum proved it.

Morjina Begum is a name in the field of athletics at the state as well as national levels. She hails from the Goalpara district of Assam. She started her athletic career at the age of 35. Morjina has been participating in athletic events since 2010, but in the year 2018, there was a sudden break in her journey.

The Breast Cancer

In 2018, Morjina Begum was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 63. She was admitted to the hospital, and she underwent an operation in 2018, after which she continued fighting cancer until 2020. During the pandemic situation, her health deteriorated, and she was brought under strict medication again. After the surgery in a city hospital, she was further treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati. After the treatment, even when the doctors gave her the green light to enter the sports field by the time registration for the event had started, the athletic federation officials discouraged her, as they were apprehensive and concerned about her fitness and her health. Despite all the discouragements, challenges, and obstacles, she went ahead and filled up the form for participation in the Kolkata event.

The battle of athletics

The most amazing part is that Morjina Begum was trained by her daughter, who is a national-level athlete. Before being diagnosed with cancer, Morjina Begum won awards at both national and state-level events. After her cancer diagnosis, even some of the people closest to her discouraged her. But after her treatment, Morjina was even more motivated. She received financial assistance and motivation from her treating doctors at BBCI to participate in the event. On February 12, she went to Kolkata to participate in the National Masters Athletics Championship.

The amazing return of Morjina

Morjina Begum took part in the National Masters Athletics Event and won the silver medal in the 4×100 meters relay. This medal tells us that anything can be done with strong intentions.

Dr. Munlima Hazarika, professor of medical oncology at BBCI, expressed her joy with the statement that, without complete determination, it would not have been possible to run for glory in the athletics track. “Morjina had received toxic cardiac chemotherapy. Despite that, she not only participated in an athletic event but also won the event, which shows what true determination can achieve,” said Dr. Hazarika.

The story of Morjina Begum proves that if one has a strong will and determination, one can perform any apparently ‘impossible’ task. We have also seen many such examples, among whom one of the greatest is Hungarian athlete Károly Takács, who was the first shooter to win consecutively two Olympic gold medals in the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol event, both times, with his left hand after he lost his right hand in an unfortunate incident. Takács was a sergeant in the Hungarian army and also a member of his nation’s world championship pistol shooting team. However, in 1938, at the age of 28, a grenade exploded in his right hand, which turned his world upside down for some time. But he did not give up. He taught himself to shoot with his only hand- the left hand. 10 years later, he set a world record and an Olympic record with 580 points to win the gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in London and a second gold medal with 579 points at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, using his only hand.

In sports, dedication and determination are two important aspects. Not only in sports, but these qualities are essential for every person to achieve success in life. No matter where one stands, whatever one’s circumstances are, it is the determination that paves the way for success. If one wants to achieve success, it is important to take initiative, have strong willpower, have a sharp focus, and work hard, getting up each time one falls and continuing to work towards the goal each day, consistently. This is what we learn from Morjina Begum’s inspiring and motivating story!

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