An invite from actress Gautami, who of late has been raising her voice on various issues, featured her silhouette striking a curious pose with her left arm raised as though commanding people. It created a bit of a buzz. A closer look at it revealed that it was actually a call for cancer patients and survivors to have their narratives told.
It is well known that actress Gautami Tadimalla has been in the forefront of fighting cancer through her ‘Life Again Foundation’ for many years now. Having battled and overcome breast cancer herself, the south star is now gearing up for another year of cancer awareness and raising the hopes of those fighting the disease presently, regardless of what stage their cancer is in.
In an exclusive interview to DC, Gautami reinforces some of the basic tenants of the survivor’s mindset, the dire need of educating people on lifestyle and particularly food choices, and some of the goals of organising the ‘Winner’s Walk’ initiative here in the city on World Cancer Day (February 4).
On the disease itself, Gautami encourages patients to embrace the reality as a strong first step. “Cancer is a reality and one has to stop hiding from it,” she said. “People have this paralysing fear when they come to know of their diagnosis. We need to help them overcome this and see the disease for what it is.”
Food and lifestyle changes were among her top priorities in helping people turn their lives around. “We need to go back to sustainable methods of living. While early detection is key, a lot of cattle, plants and other livestock are treated with high amounts of preservatives.
However, Tamil Nadu is among the top in sustainable farming habits.” And that people should take advantage of it.
Organising a walk in Chennai at the Olcott school in Besant Nagar, Gautami extols the virtues of cancer survivors and how they can shine a light for those who are presently in the darkness. With a theme denoting to the effect of ‘if I can defeat it, you can as well,’ she says that this ‘Winner’s Walk’ is a showcase that “when you beat cancer, you have won! You show the rest that there is hope and that mindset will play a key part.” She also praises Dr. Shanta of the Adyar Cancer Institute who would be leading the walk at the event.
Although a healthier lifestyle is at the core of battling cancer, Gautami does throw caution into the mix when adopting habits that aren’t suited for the subcontinent. She says: “In the far east like Japan and China, soya is a very popular food item.
Though a good source of protein, people shouldn’t blindly take up such new changes as it would cause an imbalance in the eco system.” Instead, her far safer alternative is to “maintain an optimal lifestyle by eating healthy, exercising, and managing your stress levels.”
Both well known celebrities and common man alike will be participating in this walk. Her goal is simple and without too many assumptions: “I want people to come forward. I want every single person to participate in this event,” she said....