12-year-old Rose, diagnosed with Askin’s Tumor, did not lose hope
The Day intended to make girls contribute their mite to mitigate suffering of the needy
VIJAYAWADA: The inspiring tale of Melinda Rose Hathaway served as a balm to the 30-odd patients who felt their own pain trivialise for a moment.
Oncologist A.Y. Rao, an Assistant Professor at Siddhartha Medical College and head of Dr. A.Y. Rao Cancer Centre, reiterated his point that there was life after cancer diagnosis. “Instead of wallowing in misery, the patient must understand the situation and make the best of whatever opportunities that come their way to better his or her lifestyle,” he said, addressing a meeting organised by Sri Durga Malleswara Siddhartha Mahila Junior Kalasala in coordination with Roots Health Foundation, a local NGO, to mark Cancer Rose Day on Tuesday.
Dr. Rao pointed out that despite being diagnosed with Askin’s Tumor, an extremely rare form of cancer that strikes mostly young adolescent females and the ailment being invariably terminal, 12-year-old Rose did not lose heart.
The severe painful treatment she had to undergo notwithstanding, the young girl spent her limited days of life comforting and counselling other young cancer patients and their caregivers. “One must draw inspiration from Melinda’s zest for life, her will to live, her unending hope and her genuine caring for others,” he said.
Chairman of Help Hospitals Puvvada Ramakrishna said one-third of the cancer cases could be prevented while early diagnosis could minimize cancer deaths.
“The objective of the programme is to make the girls aware of the significance of the day and egg them on to take up a social cause on the occasion.
We want our students to be socially responsible citizens. They must wake up to the burning issues and contribute their mite to mitigate the suffering of the needy,” said K. Visala, Principal of the junior college.
She said the girls must respond to the needs of cancer patients by spending time with them and trying to infuse confidence in them.
In a symbolic gesture to rekindle hope for life, girls of the junior college presented roses and fruits to the patients, some of whom shared their experiences of horror and disbelief at the time of diagnosis dissipating gradually into acceptance of the reality.
Fifty-seven-year-old S. Jayalakshmi, a school assistant in the Zilla Parishad Boys High School, Gannavaram, recounted how her supportive spouse, K. Venkat Rao, a former banker, helped her fight the spread of cancerous cells that had affected her left ear. “I am told it has been suppressed all thanks to my doctor’s encouraging words and my husband’s active support,” she said.
P.V.S. Vijaya Bhaskar, chairman of Roots Health Foundation, K. Ramakrishnarjuna Rao, proprietor of Alankar Theatre, and others were present.