West Bengal Shyamali Singh overcame all odds to win a bronze medal at the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2024 on Sunday, having undergone a brain tumour operation couple of years ago.
It was at the same event four years ago when Shyamali complained of vomiting around the halfway mark of the 42 kilometre stretch, something that she and her husband Santosh Singh noticed to be developing into some sort of a pattern.
Unveiling a Troubling Pattern
The couple had to go through several rounds of checkups at different hospitals before they learned about the exact cause of the problem, a brain tumour, which inevitably took its toll.
"She ran in a TCS race and won a silver and then she participated in Mumbai. She would vomit after 25 or 26 kilometres. The pressure would increase on the brain but we did not know," Santosh told the media here after the 19th edition of the gold-label race.
The couple revealed facing a severe financial crunch over the last few years but adding that there is nothing which would deter them from their mission of making Shyamali improve more and more.
"During her operation, I mailed to everyone... from the MLA to the chief minister as well as the prime minister, but I did not get a response from anywhere," Santosh said.
It took some time for Shyamali to get back up on her feet again but she is glad to have found the right doctor who still keeps a close eye on her.
"The doctor who did the surgery was confident that this girl would start running again and she started too, after the surgery in November 2021," Santosh said.
"He is such a big doctor but he keeps calling to check on me," expressed Shyamali, who mentioned her husband's hard work and blessings which has kept her dreams alive.
Sacrifices for Shyamali's Dreams
Santosh said all along there have been naysayers and all sorts of challenges, but as a couple they remain single-minded to not give up Shyamali's dream.
"Everyone says kill this passion for the sport but I am not bothered about what the others say. She was adamant to resume running after the surgery even when she was not able to run at all," said Santosh, who has also been a long-distance runner at the state and national level.
"We understand sports. I always motivate her to do well and not worry about the troubles. I ask her to think as if uske peeche ek pahaad khada hai (that she has mountainous support from me)," he said.
"I sold the land which we had bought earlier for the purpose of making our home. We live in a rented flat. I told her that it was not a bigger thing than her career," Santosh added.