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Diagnosed With Rare Musculoskeletal Condition, How Riya Choudhary Found Joy Through K-POP

Currently battling Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, Riya Choudhary recuperates with K-POP music. Her story, enthusiasm for life and never-back-down attitude leave us getting inspired in more ways than one.

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Misha
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Riya Choudhary
It's said art works as a great source of therapy whether you're suffering mentally, emotionally or physically. A lot of medical practitioners are adopting art as part of their treatment regime to help assist in making their patients more hopeful and alive during their painful, long treatments. One of the biggest examples of this is Riya Choudhary's story.
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Riya Choudhary, who is currently battling Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, and suffered a major personal loss recently, is slowly recuperating with the help of music, specifically K-POP. She shares with us her journey full of challenges and leaves us getting inspired by her enthusiasm for life and never-back-down attitude.

Riya Choudhary Journey

"They said, FOP! I'm now healing with K-POP!

My mother recalls that when I was nine years old, the doctors were confused and could not figure out my condition. Eventually, it was diagnosed as FOP (Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva), also known as the living statue disease. This rare disease only occurs in one in two million people, and unfortunately, I was one of them. I was scared, but my family and I stayed strong. I grew up with weakening muscles and bones that were diffusing and stiffening with each other.

Like any other child, I started a normal school, as my father encouraged my education. But soon my leg muscles began to weaken, forcing me to stand for six hours during classes and then lie down for another six hours at home. It was a difficult situation, and I found myself asking, ‘Why me? What did I do to deserve this?’ The pain was widespread, affecting my legs, jaw, and tongue, among other areas, but my family stood by me throughout it all. And I never gave up! I remember all those moments when I’d tell myself, ‘I’ll get through this!’

In 2014, when my condition worsened and I couldn't walk or stand properly, I found solace in the tunes of K-pop music. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Whenever I felt mentally low, I listened to different K-pop bands. As months passed, not only did I appear for my board exams, but I also received an award for my academic excellence.

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In 2019, I attended a live concert of the popular K-pop band, KARD. When I have no one around me, I take care of myself by diving into watching K-dramas and listening to K-pop. I was in the front row and even got single frames with them. It was a dream moment that got me shivers of happiness.

My condition is progressive, and my healing was short-lived as my biggest support, my father passed away in 2021. It became difficult for me, but I did not give up even then. Recently, I fulfilled my father’s last wish and my own dream by becoming a special educator.

‘Little braver.’ Yes, that’s the song that comforted me at my lowest. No matter what life throws at me, I know I’ll bounce back every day - a little braver, stronger, and brighter."

As narrated by Riya Choudhary to Misha, Team SheThePeople


Suggested reading: How Somasundari Manoharan Found Empowerment In Powerlifting In Her 50s

women and health Riya Choudhary rare diseases k-Dramas K-Pop
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