I have, in my practice, come across even kids who have shown bravery. Rajan, a boy about 8-9 years of age once attended our paediatric diabetic camp. He appeared very shy and rather asocial, with fear writ large in his eyes. He lacked the usual cheer of an eight-year old and did not talk to anybody or participate in any games. However, he soon overcame his reticence and started participating in the various Quiz Programmes and games that were organised in these camps. In a very soft voice he would answer all questions and soon became a regular visitor and member of our diabetic outpatient. One day we noticed a limp in his gait whilst he was playing. Perhaps a foreign body in his foot, was the natural assumption. But the persistent limp aroused suspicion and we got him fully investigated. To our horror and dismay we found that this lovely child's leg had been invaded by a dreaded enemy-cancer. He had had a painfully slow recovery from diabetes; how were we to tell him about the new affliction? He had just begun to enjoy the company of his new found friends and was running around the place. We did not have the heart to tell him about the decision to amputate his leg. Finally, the surgeon who was to operate on Rajan told him: "Look, Rajan, your leg keeps paining and bothering you. No amount of medicine will relieve your pain. We will have to cut your leg so that it does not hurt you any more."

I will never forget Rajan's reply. "Doctor chacha" he said, "if you tell this to my father, he will get a shock. But I'm ready for my leg being cut. I will explain the situation to my father. Will be able to go to Shreenathji Temple after my leg is cut?" Without any fear he agreed the amputation and even coaxed his father to give consent for the surgery. The surgery was performed but the child had to face yet another onslaught the dreaded chemo therapy injections to destroy the residual cancerous cells. This nightmare, too, he bore ungrudgingly

Today he is battling on two fronts diabetes and Cancer, To watch him facing these adversaries is a sight. For the past two years he has won the first prize in the dandiya ras competition during the annual Navaratra festival. He even manages to play cricket and is now threatening to become a football player too. By his exemplary behaviour he is teaching us how to live.