Cancer is a horrifying experience for anyone. But, it’s not at all an obstacle for those who fight it out with confidence.
An inspiring event held in Nepal on January 11, 2019, proved that! Kathmandu hosted the first-of-its-kind ramp walk show by cancer survivors, with the Nepal Cancer Support Group and its unit Sudipta organizing the event.
With ‘Cancer is also curable and there is life after Cancer,’ as the slogan, the event aimed at creating awareness and instill some positive spirit among cancer patients.
Amid hundreds of audience at the hall of Hotel Heritage Garden, various cancer survivors performed in the ramp walk titled ‘Sudipta Cancer Survivor Ramp Show’ with high confidence and charming smiles.
Unlike the usual fashion shows, an 8-year-old kid Lian Awale (a survivor of blood cancer) and a 21-year-old Dikshya Hada (undergoing the fourth phase of synovial sarcoma cancer) inaugurated the event amid huge applause.
Cancer survivors from different backgrounds and age groups participated in the show with traditional attires.
“I won over breast cancer some eight years ago. Today, I am living a happy life with my family. We should not fear cancer, but fight against it,” said the 45-year-old Subina Chapagain from Kathmandu, who appeared in ethnic Sherpa attire.
“Many people think that cancer is not curable but it’s not true. If we conduct regular screening and receive treatment from the early stages, we can win over cancer. I am here to raise awareness about the same,” said another cancer survivor Pradeep Sapkota, who had overcome mouth-related cancer buccal mucosa.
“It is a great pleasure to participate in a unique show surrounded by positive people. Though I am still struggling with cancer, the show has given me motivation and hope,” said Hada.
Hada, who hails from Bhaktapur, was accompanied by her 17-year-old brother Yash Hada.
The show filled with intense joy as Yash started playing the guitar for his sister and the duo received wide appreciation from the audience and many celebrities who attended the show.
“Seeing so many cancer-suffering people in a single platform, I realized that my daughter is not alone in this race,” says Hada’s mother.
“Cancer leads to physical, mental, financial and psychological struggles for the patients and their family members. But it is curable and post-cancer life can be still amazing as before,” says Sworupa Shrestha, the event coordinator.
At the end of the event, a few doctors also joined the show adding to the joy of the event.
Dr. Sudip Shrestha and his wife have been running the Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center since the past few years, with their Nepal Cancer Support Group extending needed support to the needy cancer patients and their families. Continuing the efforts, the organizers are planning to utilize the ramp show fund for the treatment of cancer patients with poor family background.
“Regular health check-up and a healthy lifestyle is the key to prevent cancer. There are hospitals with advanced technologies within the country, so people should not fear anymore,” says Shrestha.
According to the Nepal Health Research Council, trends show Nepal has around 30,000 cases of cancer diagnosed every year and only around 10,000 patients of them visit the doctors for necessary treatment.
Cancers related to lungs, oral cavity, breast, thyroid, breast, and cervix have been among the popular cancers seen in Nepal over the years. While breast cancer is more among women, men are falling prey to lung cancer.
Events of this kind not only give new hope to cancer survivors but also bring to limelight many cancer patients waiting for needed support!