• Prachi Sachdev

He May Have Parkinson’s…But Parkinson’s doesn’t Have Him

Dr. Ashish Chopra

Bio: Dr. Ashish Chopra is a graduate from Mayo College, Ajmer, Rajasthan. He completed his Hotel Management Degree from Montreaux, Switzerland. He is a district and a state level champion in tennis. To his credit he has many awards and acclamations for participating in Marathons for causes. He is a Guinness World Records holder for fastest player for playing Kuku Kube Mobile game. He loves spending time with his family.

Young, energetic and ambitious he began his adulthood journey. After completing a degree in Hotel Management from Montreaux, Switzerland, Ashish started working as a trainee. Sooner than he realized he had a full time job in the hotel industry.

Ashish was fortunate enough to have worked under some esteemed Hotel Brands, to name a few, Ramada, Hyatt and Hilton. He had a successful career before he had to leave his job in the year 2002 as he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Ashish was 29 years old then.

Before he learnt about his disease, life seemed to be bright and brilliant, as any young adult would dream of! He had accomplished most of his life plans as drafted. Since school days Ashish had always been keen in sports. He is a district and a state level champion in tennis.

One lesson that Ashish was about to learn a hard way was that life certainly does not always unfold as planned; there are curves and blind turns.

Parkinson’s disease happens when there is a problem with certain nerve cells in the brain. It affects the way one moves. Other affects are shaking or trembling of hands or legs, stiff muscles, slow movement and problem with balancing or walking.

While knowing that, he had to live with the disease whole his life, came in as a shock. Till date there is no cure for Parkinson’s, only medicines that can control the symptoms and make the syndrome easier to live with. He was shattered, confused and messed up. There were various thoughts of ‘self pity’ circling his mind and he could not stop thinking ‘why him!’

Life happened and for a while it took away the zest from Ashish.

He has come a long way since then. But when he looks back Ashish feels grateful for two things that happened to him then. He realized how much his parents loved him and supported him in every possible way. Another special person that he is thankful to for being in his life is his wife, Mita. They had an arranged marriage. Ashish and Mita tied knots in the year 2000. Before love happened their relationship was founded on trust and understanding. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, his mom and wife stood by him like a rock. They became his strength and helped him gain back his confidence.

Today Ashish is happy, fearless and fathering a son, 14 years old, who adores him.

So began a new chapter of his life. Living with the disease had never been easy but realizing he still have the power to change his destiny, gave him hope. During this time a few of his friends also played a very crucial part in the story of his life. They still remain Ashish’s biggest asset.

After going through the physical and emotional pain of an incurable sickness, he could better understand the suffering of those who were in the similar situation. That’s when he decided to pledge his organs. Following this Ashish became a life member of Mohan Foundation and Shrimad Rajchandra organ donation program. He has already donated one of his kidneys.

He started doing what he realised he could do best in his situation. Ashish started participating in marathons for a cause. To mention a few, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Walk for Life – A Cansupport Initiative, Let’s run Dwarka Cross Country, Let’s Run Making cities safe for Women and Girls Marathon, Run for Unity organized by Gurugram Runners, I Ran for those who Can’t, Organ Donation Awareness Walk, World Drug Day – to support greater national awareness on drug abuse, Certificate of participation for Cancer Awareness cum Screening Camp for Women and Adolescent Girls organised by DLF Foundation and National Geographic Society.

This year began with all new enthusiasm and new goals. In February he participated in Haryana Talent Run – 2018 in support for The Earth Saviours Foundation. The latest marathon he participated in was a 10 km Run in Amity Gurugram Marathon, held on 18th February.

It gives Ashish immense pleasure and satisfaction to be a part of such causes. He feels, in spite of his short comings, He still have the capability to change the world by contributing with his little efforts.

In January 2018, he officially announced as an Ambassador for Green Wheels Cycle Races. In February 2018, he was presented with an Award of Honor at the 4th National Conference of Physical Education & Sports Sciences.

On a lighter note, Ashish has a second interest that keeps him busy on days when he is not running Marathons. We all are gadget freaks these days. While many of us like to play games on our smart phones and laptops, Ashish did not just play. He started breaking and making records.

Sachin, a dear friend of his introduced him to the world of KuKu Kube game. With smart phone at his disposal he mastered the game and won the ‘Guinness World Records’. Life became gamical!

Kuku Kube kept Ashish busy winning several awards, such as, Unique World Records for highest score in Kuku Kube Mobile Game, India Book of Records - Kuku Kube Puzzle Game, India AchieverBook of Records – Kuku Kube Eye Testing Mobile Game, Golden Book of World Records – Highest Score in Kuku Kube in one minute, World Amazing Records, and World Records India.

Likewise everyone else Ashish do not have job promotions to boost and celebrate about; that he would if he really could. His real strength lies in the fact when others learn to appreciate the efforts of people who do not let their disability in the way of their actions. Life, he says is too short to keep regrets. So he rejoice each day with what life has offered him.

Acknowledgements by Ashish:This day I take it as an opportunity to ‘Thank’ my mom and dad for always being there, for their support and blessings in the ups and downs of my life. My second acknowledgement goes to my beautiful wife, who never stopped believing in my capability to achieve my goals, however bizarre they must have been. Thanks Mita for standing by me and taking pride in my achievements. I want to ‘Thank’ my son Tejas for being patient and loving with my limitations. Our difficult times are the most important phase of our life for it reveals who stands by us. A big shout out to three of my lovely friends who never left my side and I feel blessed to have you all. Thank you Swapna for always sending me encouraging messages; it helps me when sometimes the going gets tough! Thank you Nitin for cheering me up and pushing me to give my best shot the next time, whenever I mess up. Last but not the least I owe you a Big Thank You Sachin for introducing me to the world of Kuku Kube mobile game. It helped me break some old records and make some new ones.

A Ray of Hope: There will always be something in life beyond our control. At times, giving up seems easier than moving ahead. That's when you have to keep your faith strong. Always strive to be a fighter and never give up on life when you know there are people who will not give upon you. Keep going and enjoy Just Being You!

About the Author: Born and raised in Gurgaon, the millennium city of India, Prachi Sachdev Mendiratta is a freelance blogger at various platforms. She is a graphic designer, a video editor and a painter by choice. A hippie at heart travelling has been her passion for ever since she remembers. She loves to read books that inspire. She also loves to read books depicting life of people from varied cultures across the globe. Her favourite authors are Robin Sharma, Paulo Coelho and now Jean Sasson, apart from others. Her favorite quote is, 'The Time is Now or Never'.



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