Beacon of Hope

By Kelly Munro


YOU have cancer, is a phrase so many will be told this year.
‘We can help you,’ is a phrase the Indian Cancer Society says to those that cannot help themselves.

The Indian Cancer Society, based in Mumbai, has a 60 year history of saving lives. They have helped thousands of underprivileged cancer patients overcome their disease.
“I thought I was going to die. I had no family, no support, no home. I was alone,” said Ms Habib Nisha Khan.
“I lost my ray of hope. I didn’t think anything could be done to save me. And just at that moment, the Society stepped in to help me.”
Awareness is a key factor of the Indian Cancer Society’s campaign, as too few understand the risks of smoking. 72% of patients at the Indian Cancer Society have a tobacco-related cancer. However detection, cure and survival for those affected by cancer is a fight they are willing to undertake; ensuring these patients understand that their disease will not be the death of them. 
“My first three operations were a great success. I’m not scared about the fourth, I know I will be fine,” Ms Khan said. 
The Society has become a beacon of hope against cancer, providing support to hundreds of patients.

Habib Nisha Khan has soft pallate mouth cancer and is due for surgery number four. Throughout her treatment, she has lost the ability to talk, has gone partially deaf and weighs a mere 25kgs, leaving her unable to stand for more than a few minutes. Her family abandoned her when she was diagnosed, leaving her to live alone on a foot path outside Tata Memorial Hospital. The Indian Cancer Society took Habib under their wing, providing her with treatment, skills and, more importantly, support.

There are many patients with stories like Habib, and the defining element in all is the Indian Cancer Society. Many were reached out to in the early stages and supported right from detection through to rehabilitation. For them, the Society is a rock that will always be able to support them.

Cancer is not an easy disease; it affects all parts of someone’s life, changing everything they once knew. But word is spreading that there is something that cancer can never take away. Hope. And at Indian Cancer Society, there is never short supply.

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