Kartikey Sharma is a Mumbai based artist, he was ranked among the top 10 graffiti artists of India. On one end, he is directing artists to paint at Sunburn, while on the other, he waits for his next session of chemotherapy. Kartikey has been fighting last stage cancer with a brush for 2 years now.
A routine full body check-up in 2009 came as a shocker to him and his family – a tumor was detected in my chest. Soon it was found to be malignant. Luckily, the cancer was in its second stage when it is fairly treatable. He was was in class 12th then. His entire family moved to Mumbai for his treatment. He was declared fit in September 2009, recovered and took admission in a Pune engineering college, after scoring 88 percent in STD 12 boards. Kartikey made a painting after every exam as a stress-busting activity. Although he was into art during his childhood, it never occurred to him that he could make it a career.
From a guy who considered painting as a getaway to somebody who’s a professional artist, the journey hasn’t been an easy one for Kartikey. He started painting walls in college. The first big opportunity that came his way was when someone from Red Bull spotted him painting and asked him to paint a wall. He painted for fourteen hours straight and the sheer satisfaction that emanated when it was completed was unanticipated, almost incomparable.
Lamentably, the cancer relapsed in February 2016. Cancer from the chest had spread to all parts of his body and was in Stage four. He had to immediately start his treatment and chemotherapy sessions in Mumbai. Doctors had given up on him after which his father got an expensive drug exported from Germany which helped him a great deal but was a huge blow to his family. It has been 2years, Kartikey has been kept under observation in the hospital. The cancer treatment was very painful initially and gradually one loses patience and the motivation to go on. Kartikey came to Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai in January, and is currently undergoing a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy failed. During that time he has seen 10 people get bone marrow transplants and eight of them died.
Months and months of looking at pale hospital room ceiling, absorbing excruciating pain, and befriending powerful drugs is a lot for a body to take, let alone finding a colourful way to coexist but Kartikey believes that your passion has to be the biggest driving force when you cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel.