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Life after cancer, a few tell their story

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RAISING HOPE: Mayor Jayan Babu releasing greeting cards by Pratyasha to raise funds for the treatment of poor children at the Regional Cancer Centre in the city on Tuesday. Dr B. Rajan, Director RCC, Prof. George Onakkoor and Prof Asha G. Vakkom are also seen. Photo: S. Mahinsha
RAISING HOPE: Mayor Jayan Babu releasing greeting cards by Pratyasha to raise funds for the treatment of poor children at the Regional Cancer Centre in the city on Tuesday. Dr B. Rajan, Director RCC, Prof. George Onakkoor and Prof Asha G. Vakkom are also seen. Photo: S. Mahinsha

Staff Reporter

Cured patients urged to come out in the open to kindle hope in others

Thiruvananthapuram: Cancer is often termed the killer disease; heart-rending stories about young lives devastated by cancer and families whose hopes and dreams turned to dust one fine day are all too familiar.

But ask Srijith "Is there life after cancer?" and he would proudly point to his baby daughter, Theertha. When he was diagnosed with leukaemia at a very young age, none in his family believed that they would see their son alive for long. Srijith today runs a photo studio at Nedumangad.

On Tuesday, as a beaming Srijith stood before a large audience of cancer patients and families at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), holding his infant daughter, he was sending out a message of hope and optimism to hundreds of cancer patients and their families. That there is indeed life, hope and dreams even after cancer.

The occasion was the observation of National Cancer Awareness Day, organised by the RCC and Prathyasha Cancer Children Welfare Society.

As Kusuma Kumari, the head of the Department of Paediatric Oncology, RCC, said, it was such images that helped ease the pain and emotional trauma of dealing with hundreds of young child patients daily.

Several others, like Shanavas (28), who had been treated for leukaemia as an eight-year-old at RCC; Meera Rajasekharan, an engineer now, who had undergone cancer treatment as an adolescent; Sibi Jayan, who had survived a rare cancer in the eye as a child, narrated their stories of battling cancer.

About 40 per cent of those who undergo cancer treatment go back to lead normal lives. But so long as their stories do not come out in the open, cancer will continue to be seen as a non-curable disease. Cancer survivors should tell their stories so as to give hope to hundreds of cancer patients to fight their disease, Dr. Kusuma Kumari said.

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