Remembering Rose

TODAY IS Rose Day, which is dedicated to those battling cancer the world over. There is a beautiful story behind this observance. On February 14, 1994, 12-year-old Melinda Rose, a resident of Canada, was diagnosed with stage IV or advanced cancer. The physician's report read: "Askin's Tumor. An extremely rare form of cancer. Invariably terminal."

The doctors said the Roses would have to face the inevitable in a week or two. But brave Melinda knew better. She lived beyond those two weeks. However, the long drawn-out and painful treatment that ensued left her physically weak. But her spirit was as buoyant as ever. To her, each day was as precious as eternity. She communicated this joi de vivre to the other children who were also undergoing treatment. Her kind words perked up these little cancer patients as well as their caregivers. Her saga of service continued till September 15, 1996 when cancer scored its decisive victory over her.

Sanctuary, which provides emotional support to cancer patients and their caregivers at the Adyar Cancer Institute, has planned many activities for this year's Rose Day. Under its auspices, a light music programme will be held on September 22 for the cancer patients at the institute. Roses and refreshments will be distributed to all the patients and T-shirts will be given to the children at the paediatric ward.

In association with the Foodworld Chain of Supermarkets, Sanctuary will be holding a charity sale on this day. Beautiful imported cloth roses at Rs. 10 each would be sold at 20 of Foodworld's branches in the city. The proceeds from this sale will be utilised for the treatment of underprivileged children, as also for cancer support programmes.

For more details, call 52171217/ 26212126.


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