Bengaluru: Fifteen ‘sheros’, or cancer survivors, narrated their stories of grit and determination after they completed a strenuous 2 km trek – Pinkathon, at Nandi Hills on Sunday.
The women, though overtaken by fatigue, took small steps and water breaks to walk past the finish line. They were presented with I-Inspire medals on top of the hill for completing the trek.
The Pinkathon, organised by the United Sisters Foundation, hold regular events, like the Nandi Hills trek, to increase awareness on cancer.
Ms Nalini Satyanarayan, 69, was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx in 2010. She lost her voice after undergoing a surgery and can now breathe only through her mouth. “Cancer is only a bend and not the end. I have learnt to speak with determination and courage,” she said. She is now a counsellor and a speech therapist, and works with HCG Hospitals.
“I am proud to be a member of the pink hope support group in HCG. I live by the motto – Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow,” she said.
Another survivor, Vijaya Sawkar, started her battle with cancer five years ago. Her awareness helped her detect her cancer at early stages. “I was aware of it as my sister had cancer. I did not have to undergo any chemotherapy or radiation. I have been under medication for the last five years.” However, these medicines have side-effects. “I take time to process what I hear and react after that,” she said.
The sheros advised cancer patients to keep their mind busy with positive thoughts and to explore within themselves to find a way out.
Ms Kasturi, a Bharatnatyam dancer, started her own dance school at 21. But after she was diagnosed with cancer, she had to stop teaching Bharatanatyam for 10 years. Now 60, she says, “I have bounced back. I want to spread Bharatanatyam and my spirit all over the world.” Another survivor, Ms Shashi, said that in today’s world with advanced technology, everything is possible. “After I underwent chemotherapy, I went skydiving from 15,000 feet. We should live the present,” she said.
These sheros have not given up, and are determined to live their life to the fullest.