45-year-old Asha is forever smiling these days. This smile is no indication of her past though, as a matter of fact, her past is tormented by her cancer and her lying, deceitful and unhelpful husband.
The Diagnosis Period
It was 2012 when Asha was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer. Originally from Bihar, Asha and her family had been living in the slums behind the Delhi Cantonment area for a couple of years. Her family consisted of her husband and her young son, Himanshu. Upon her diagnosis, her husband told her that he would go to the village to leave their son with his parents and would then be back to take care of her treatments. That day, however, never came. As soon as he reached the village he switched off his phone, as a result, Asha had no way to communicate or get in touch with them. Slowly but surely, Asha understood that she had been abandoned. Fortunately for her, her neighbours were very supportive. They took care of her, fed her and introduced her to CanSupport.
Not only does CanSupport provide medication for cancer patients, but also counselling and support services since they believe in a holistic, caring experience. Their counselling services are emotional, physical and spiritual. Asha was provided with medical assistance as well as emotional support, as she was in dire need of help. CanSupport held her hand through all her chemotherapy and surgeries. She was a fragile person in a delicate situation and it was imperative for them to make her feel loved and help her beat this disease. With her determination and their assistance, Asha eventually beat cancer. But the fight didn't stop there, she was put in touch with the police as well as a lawyer in an effort to reunite her with her son. After a few meetings with the police, both in Delhi and Bihar, her husband and son were found and with the help of the lawyer, who took on her case pro-bono, CanSupport was able to reunite the mother and son duo.
Life After Cancer
Life after cancer doesn't mean that CanSupport stops looking out for you. With regular home visits, they make sure that you are up to date with your medication, that you have ease of access to a counsellor if need be and they even assist you in earning an income. Asha was given basic training in sewing and was provided with a sewing machine by CanSupport to help her earn a living. Asha now lives in the same house in the Delhi Cantonment slum area with her son, but with two major differences. Firstly, she is cancer free and secondly, she lives with a smile on her face every day. Her son is studying in the local government school in class 2 and is the apple of her eye, understandably so since he is unbelievably cute.
How You Can Help
There are hundreds of other women with the same problem as Asha and 7 lakh new cancer patients in India every year. In an ideal world, CanSupport would like to help each and every one of them. However, being an NGO, they rely solely on donations and assistance from their supporters. They also understand that not everyone is in a position to donate monetarily, which is why they are more than happy for you to volunteer your time with them and help them on the ground. Any form of assistance goes a long way with them and with their patients because your donation could help save a life.
We strive to make the world a better place and to remove the stigma that comes with cancer.
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.