Cancer, with its life-claiming dread, has earned a reputation of being more just a disease. Every sixth death in the world is caused by Cancer, and in 2017, an estimated 9.6 million people have died from various forms of Cancer, according to Our World in Data.
Although certain forms of Cancer are curable if detected at early stages, the word Cancer is often considered as synonymous to death, and it first arrests minds of people before claiming lives. However, a few who have just survived Cancer have gone on to appreciate life even more, after their battle with the disease.
On World Cancer Day, here’s a look at a few such women who did not let Cancer consume their spirit.
Hailing from Jammu, Shivani Charak was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at nine and had to travel frequently for chemotherapy from Jammu to Chandigarh. Even though she was cured after three years, Shivani’s body was still weak.
But this did not deter her and took inspiration from her sister to practice sport climbing, a form of rock climbing where they rely on a rope attached to a fixed anchor. Shivangi, now 18, is the highest ranked woman sport climber in India today.
She has earned many laurels including junior bronze at the Asian Youth Championships in Bengaluru. Shivangi also participated in the IFSC ACC Asian Championships 2019 in Indonesia last year.
In 2015, she bagged gold medal at the National Sport Climbing Championship and in 2016, participated in the World Cup.
Diagnosed with Cancer at the age of 22 with little chance of surviving, Kanika Tekriwal not only beat Cancer in three years but also started up in the aviation industry.
@Kanikatekriwal#uberofskies#borntofight#@JetSetGo2 pic.twitter.com/tMqZ87gPSq— Neha Parasar (@neha_parasar) November 1, 2019
Founded in 2014, Delhi-based JetSetGo, popularly known as ‘Uber of the skies’ manages, operates, and flies airplanes for owners. It also lets customers charter aircrafts. In addition, JetSetGo provides advanced trip-pricing capabilities too.
Kanika had started up with just $100; but she has said that a network of individuals who had faith in her helped her business grow strong.
Kanika was named among the 100 most inspirational women in the world by BBC and recognised by Forbes Asia as one of the 30 under 30 leading entrepreneurs in Asia in 2016.
Romita Ghosh had aced at biology and computer science as a child, and aspired to become an entrepreneur. Diagnosed with blood cancer at 13 did not mean the end of the world for Romita, partly because she was blissfully unaware of the implications of the disease.
Cut to today, she holds double majors in biotechnology and biochemistry, and an MBA in biotech management.
However, it was in 2009 that the 35-year-old took the entrepreneurial plunge with D’lights, an LED and CFL importing and manufacturing company, with an assembly unit in Bengaluru. Further, Romita has founded two healthcare startups Admirus (founded in 2011) and MedSamaan (founded in 2018), based out of Mumbai and Delhi, respectively.
While Admirus provides customised medical solution, MedSamaan is a med-tech platform that features quality-controlled medical devices from international and domestic manufacturers.
Jasmine Lulla was running her own confectionary brand Cakes ‘N’ Craft when, in 2016, she was diagnosed with Cancer. But that did not dampen her entrepreneurial spirit.
Jasmine rested only while undergoing chemotherapy and kept the bakery business going. Further, along with her husband Manish, she expanded Cakes ‘N’ Craft to 15 stores. In just one year, Cancer had lost to Jasmine.
And while coping with Cancer, she said, baking felt like a meditation and let all her troubles melt away.
In 2018, Tanisha was diagnosed with Cancer and underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumour from her salivary gland.
Post-surgery, after six months of bed rest, she had put on a lot of weight and was body-shamed, which led her to clinical depression. Realising the importance of self-care, Tanisha went to the gym regularly and took care of her health cautiously.
In February 2019, she auditioned for season 9 of Haute Monde Mrs India Worldwide 2019 beauty pageant in Bengaluru. Out of 30,000 odd participants from 20 countries, Tanisha became one of the 175 contestants who represented India during the grand finale. Her journey continues to inspire others to believe in themselves no matter what the circumstance.