With Harvard in his sights and many more documentaries to produce through his non-profit film company, Eshan Vishwakarma is ready for the next chapter in his life. The fact that he is a 15-year cancer survivor of Stage 3 Neuroblastoma helped shape his future, but didn’t derail his goals and aspirations. “I don’t remember a lot of my diagnosis,” explains Eshan, “but I know my parents and I fought hard for me to be here. We shifted our entire lives for my chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy, and I’m so grateful to just be here and for all of the support I’ve received from ASK.”
Eshan says his most challenging moments came after survivorship when he had two major surgeries for hip dysplasia in 2020. “I missed a great deal of school before the pandemic and virtual learning became a thing,” says Eshan. “I experienced ASK’s online tutoring program and the power of Alma Morgan, ASK’s educational coordinator. She was a constant advocate for me within my school system, and continued her support even after I recovered.” And Eshan is paying it forward. “It was a very sweet moment for me when I could shift from student to tutor, helping other cancer kids with their homework at ASK’s after school program,” Eshan shares. His ASK 5K team, Outspoken Narrative, named for his non-profit, raised more than $1,000 this year, and Eshan was named the 2022 Tad DuPriest Volunteer of the Year. Eshan’s future plans include volunteering in Clinic and ASK’s after school program when he’s home on college breaks. “I love going back to Clinic because I know and love everyone so much. It’s like going home.”
"I almost lost everything and, with the support of my family and my ASK family, came back stronger."
“I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my cancer diagnosis and how it has shaped me," says Eshan. "I almost lost everything and, with the support of my family and my ASK family, came back stronger. My cancer survivorship made me want to tell the incredible stories of others who have overcome obstacles, and it led me to form Outspoken Narrative.”
In collaboration with other high school and college film makers across the world, the company produced 12 documentaries in its first season and attracted the attention of Adobe. “The new partnership is just surreal,” laughs Eshan. “We have been awarded a grant from Adobe to test some new film making software they are creating. I’m completely astonished.” Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, Eshan. You continue to astonish all of us!