D. Rajeswari’s confidence, which served her well in her journey with cancer, is inspiring.

A homemaker, whose husband is a casual labourer, Ms. Rajeswari was 50 years old when she noticed that her menstrual cycle was irregular. “The bleeding was erratic and I had difficulty in carrying on with my daily activity. I was hospitalised for a month in 2001 and underwent treatment for cancer of the cervix. That was 12 years ago. Now I have no problems,” she said.

On Saturday, at a function in Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Ms. Rajeswari spoke of the time she received treatment at the hospital. For several years, she travelled from Padmavathy Nagar in Selaiyur near Tambaram for treatment, without losing hope.

Rajeswari has survived the scare and now leads a cancer-free life.

But there are many terminally-ill patients who require palliative care.

The GH has a 20-bed palliative care unit with a long waiting list of patients. So when Sri Matha Trust, which runs a palliative care centre, offered help “we took it,” said dean V. Kanagasabai about the memorandum of understanding that was signed by the Trust and the hospital in the presence of health secretary J. Radhakrishnan.

For the next three years, the Trust, at its expense, will transport patients along with an attendant for care at its 50-bed facility in Indira Nagar. “In the government hospital, there is no scope for an attendant to stay with the patient. We will provide accommodation, medicines and food for the patient and the attendant too,” said V. Krishnamoorthy, who has been running the Trust for over a decade.

The Trust was launched to care for patients referred from Cancer Institute.

“We will take only those patients referred by the GH. On a two-acre site in Manimangalam village, we are building a larger centre. But that is about two years away,” said Mr. Krishnamoorthy.

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