Ramya Kannan

Two events planned with the rousing spirit of charity

CHENNAI: In Chennai over the subsequent weeks, two events will take place, independent of each other, but with the same rousing spirit of charity. Incidentally, both of them will be a small step at targeting the same villain – cancer.

Akash Dube is fighting cancer, not only the cancer that is in him, but he is also going to run to collect funds for cancer research. The 17-year-old High School senior from Sharjah was sure that he was on his way to Stanford University following his brother until six months ago, when little blood spots on his forearm suddenly seemed to derail that journey.

He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The treatment protocol, which will hopefully rid his body of the cancer, lasts 10 months during which he has to undergo chemotherapy in three intensive blocks of two months each.

“I am a beneficiary of tremendous hard work by doctors and scientists in developing treatment protocols. This has motivated me to do whatever I can do to further the development of cancer treatment and research,” Akash says.

His idea was to start something in Chennai that he had been part of for the last 6 years in Dubai – the Terry Fox annual charity run. Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete who had bone cancer and one of his legs had to be amputated. Despite this he set off on a 5300 Km run across Canada to raise funds. He died before he could complete the run however, and his parents set up a foundation in his memory. Every year the run is held in 53 countries to raise money for cancer research. Further details are at: www.terryfoxrun.org

“Since I am in Chennai, where I am being treated at Apollo Hospital, I thought it might be a good idea to do the run here. It will be for 6 kms within the IIT Madras campus on August 30, Sunday. Contributions collected by Terry Fox runs conducted in India are sent to the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai,” he says.

Participants can collect pick up pledge sheets to collect donations, and can run, walk, bicycle, roller blade either the full route or a part of it, Akash says.

If Akash and his friends will run, Dhanesh’s friends will sing to raise money, this time for his cancer treatment. Anyone who regularly attends Hindi music concerts in Chennai is probably familiar with Dhanesh, the guy on the drums. The talented player, quiet and unassuming on stage, has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and is undergoing treatment.

Dhanesh has played in a number of concerts to raise money for deserving causes, as part of Friends’ Orchestra. It is now the turn of the group to do him a favour. The team members of the Orchestra will come together to perform in order to raise funds that will help him with expensive treatment costs. Friends’ Orchestra is hosting a musical evening of old Tamil and Hindi hits on Sunday July 19 at 6.30 p.m. at the Chinmaya Heritage Centre, Chetpet, and the entire proceeds will go to their favourite drummer’s medical treatment costs.

The show will feature singers including Unni Menon, Shalini, Srilekha Parthasarathi, Bangalore Ganesh and Nabarun Ghosh and past and current team members of Friends’ Orchestra – Anand Madhavan, Jayalakshmi and Usha Raj. Donor passes are available at Landmark outlets and with Sudha Rao – 9840306693 and Gaayathri – 9840958540. Contribution cheques may favour C.V. Dhaneshwaran and mailed to Dhanesh c/o Gaayathri Chandrashekar, 46 North Boag Road, T. Nagar, Chennai - 17.