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Never loose hope

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is not a story of a cancer patient, but the story of his family whose life made a complete turnaround with one diagnosis. It’s a story of strength to be positive every day so that the one fighting cancer never loses hope.

Monica & Arvind Vohra were just like any other parents. Life was a back and forth between home, work, and of course their two sons Aarohan and Aaryan, who were the centre of their lives.

When a 4.5-year-old Aaryan complained of pain in the legs and fell ill frequently, the diagnosis ranged from normal viral fever to typhoid or a relapse of typhoid. But the day Aaryan’s fever spiked to 106.5 degrees, and hemoglobin fell to just 3, was the day everything changed…

A battery of tests confirmed every parent’s worst nightmare. Aaryan had Blood Cancer, or precisely Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). The first question they could ask the doctor was not how he can be treated…but “Are we fighting a winning battle or a losing one?”

It’s hard to imagine how devastated they must be to actually draw the courage to ask this question, that too about their own child.

But, in this dark cloud, there really was a silver lining. Childhood Leukemia has a great chance of full recovery. In Aaryan’s case, it was as high as 75%. Like a wounded phoenix, their hopes which seemed to be burnt to ashes rose like a swirl. They knew it would be a long tough journey, and there was no scope for emotional breakdowns. The next few days went into deciding, the doctors, and hospitals best suited for continual treatment, etc.

With things in place, Aaryan began his treatment at Apollo, Delhi with Dr.Amita Mahajan. There would be days where being strong was difficult, seeing their son in pain, unable to walk, they were often on the brink of breakdown thinking about his future. But, they still made sure to celebrate his 5th birthday, no matter how challenging it was for them to smile, thinking whether or not, he would get the same chance next year. But it was in these hospital corridors, where they spent hours that the thought of helping others was planted. They decided then, to help as many children as possible who are battling Leukemia.

But life was on Aaryan’s side. With time, in the coming months, he started responding well to treatment and the frequency of hospital visits reduced… life was almost back to normal. Aaryan soon started going back to school and overcame terrible phases of infections due to his weak immune system. But Aaryan was strong, and the will of his parents stronger.

It’s never easy to see a child suffer; you often wish that if there was a way you could take away their pain. This is what Arvind &Monica faced for almost three years, till Aaryan made a full recovery. This is what thousands of parents face each year. But it is in these times, that one finds the strength deep inside them, which they never knew they had. This family was changed forever with this one diagnosis. Even though Aaryan is fine and all grown up and healthy, the people around him and his parents have changed. Changed in a way, that they now help other parents and children sailing in the same boat, being their support system. They had seen their child going through enough; they wouldn’t let others go through the same.

It’s 2018, and Aaryan is now a long time survivor. Childhood cancer does not discriminate, it can affect any child.

It’s not just a story of winning; it’s a story of not giving up. When people decide not to give up, something wonderful happens. They live. They live a better life.

Miracles do happen

Blog By Jasmine

On 23rd feb,2018, Mr. Lokesh came to Ms.Monica and Arvind Vohra’s home at around 9pm with a heavy heart as that’s the day he got to know his 15 yr old son-Dushyant has been diagnosed with Blood cancer. Fever hitting to 106 degrees. The immediate advice from them was to take him to Apollo hospital, New Delhi and admit him with the assurance that they will help funding his treatment. The treatment started immediately, to another shock he was suffering from AML a type of Leukemia with not a good prognosis. Chances of survival were bleak. But trusting God and the doctor was the only hope. As the treatment started with chemotherapy Dushyant started becoming weak and his platelets started coming down but this is normal during the treatment. As he was still fighting with the Chemos he was attacked with Pneumonia, now the fight became tougher. Dushyant was sinking day by day and was shifted to Ventilator, one morning Ms. Monica got a call from the treating doctor saying “We did our best and tried the best possibilities, it is getting difficult for us to get Dushyant back” This news in our office created fear of uncertainty. Imagine the situation with his parents. Dushyant being a 15 yr old boy understood that he is sinking and might collapse any day.

All I could do was pray for him, it was not only me but his parents and my office mates too. All we wanted was a miracle. It is not easy to see your child in a ventilator with so many tubes around him and u r helpless. Dushyant’s father called up Ms. Monica to say “what should I tell Dushyant in the ventilator??” She answered- tell him repeatedly in his ears “u r brave and u ll be fine soon”. I guess this is what was required to help him get courage to fight such a battle. 

This made a difference and he showed signs of improvement. He was soon shifted to ICU and thereafter to the ward. He completed the treatment and guess what he is back to school smiling.

Our God answers prayers and Miracles do happen. 

There are lot of such incidences which move us and increases our passion to help such children. Dushyant is one of those WARRIORS we have today. What more do we want

Value your Loved ones

Blog By Jasmine

Today is Friday, and many of us must have started planning for weekend. I and my husband have planned to spend every moment with our daughter. Make her happy, see her laugh and enjoy. Taking her to a place where she loves the most. 

Often we take relationships for granted. valuing every moment in life is what I have personally learned from my work. Have you ever met children suffering from Cancer? I might not have met these children if I had not joined this organisation (Leukemia crusaders) a year back... Meeting these children, meet their families, feel what they are going through, the fear of losing their child… The fear of seeing their child struggling during chemos… These children are better than we people, as they are fighting against the toughest at such an early age. 

Every day I realise there’s so much to thank God in life rather than cribbing about pity things in life. Value your life. Remember there are many who are paying hefty amounts just to stay alive. 

Cherish each moment coz Life is precious. Give valuable time to your loved ones and most important- Thank God for every moment in your Life.

How women power change

Blog By Akriti Garg

Summary: GlobalLinker member and business owner, Akriti Garg shares the that women have in abundance that make them excel as entrepreneurs and become agents of positive change.

When I was growing up, listening to tales of Cinderella and her midnight adventure to find her one true love, I realised that the theme of most stories was similar...a damsel in distress, true love that finds her and saves her. I often thought, is this our purpose or aspiration in life? I’m no feminist but brought up in a family where men and women were equals in all aspects. I grew up with the confidence to take on the world.

With the passage of time, I saw myself seeing other women break the of society and step into avenues which one could say were ‘male-dominated’. Even Disney movies became about the princess being able to stand up and save herself and the prince from all! I liked to see where this was heading. The little girls from generations to follow us will be surrounded by stories and female icons who have stood firm in their ambition and achieved their goals. When you have such a change in the ecosystem and point of view of parenting, we are bound to bring up exceptionally talented young women, who some may call stubborn or high-headed, but who have an admirable passion for their goals and ambitions.

Today, most companies favour an hiring policy and there has been a drastic rise in the number of successful women business owners. There is a reason why…maybe multiple. Women bring to the table a lot more than just finesse or skill.

Women excel at multi-tasking
Most women who are mothers, work full time and take care of their families too. Plus, they don multiple roles of a mentor, guide, teacher, etc which makes them an asset in any field.

My own mother is a living example of the above statement. Always keen to help my father in the factory, and assist my grandfather in his political engagements, she juggled it all with finesse.

Women are much stronger than they let off
Don’t let a petite demeanor or soft-spoken words fool you, in general women don’t aggressively flaunt their strengths. But when push comes to shove, she will remain standing even when the strongest of souls around crumble.

I have seen this live with one of the manufacturers I worked with. Battling a bad marriage, she went out on her own with just about 500 rupees in her pocket. Starting with humble jobs in an export unit, she is today a successful manufacturer, with a workforce of 20 men, and a business that has stood the test of time for three decades.

Women manage to find a silver lining in almost every situation
Maybe it is the way we are built, but women come programmed in a way that no matter how dire or hopeless a situation, they find a way to move forward and help others along with them to move ahead. I saw this first hand with Monica, who founded Leukemia Crusaders. She went through three years of her life, supporting her son through Leukemia treatment. When most parents are told their child has cancer, they break down or are unable to function normally. She not only helped her son overcome Leukemia but also went on to start an organisation, which helps fund cancer treatment for children.

In the same context how about café Sheroes run by acid attack victims in Agra, India? When no one would employ these women because of how they looked, they found a way to be financially independent and make a positive impact on everyone who comes to their café. There is just so much inspiration to be found over a cup of tea.

Women, in general, are great at compartmentalising
Most of us know how to keep different aspects of our lives separate and function without any overlaps. Like – work is work – no compromises, you have my full attention, but when I’m at home its 'family time' or 'my time'. Even with workplace relationships, most women are able to make it work without their productivity or workplace being affected.

I know of so many women in this respect who make a look like child’s play. Kudos ladies!

Emotions and empathy are their strength
Ladies and gentlemen, try moving past the image of a woman breaking down at work because she was criticised or fired. Emotions are expressed in different ways; some express them out loud in front of everyone, and others quietly in the bathroom or behind the driving wheel listening to Adele sing her emotions.

But the fact remains – women are great at picking on and reciprocating emotions. If an employee is low, aggressive or there is a workplace conflict, or you have a disgruntled customer, a woman will be your safest bet in identifying the root problem and addressing it appropriately. They are quick to connect with people, as they respond to their emotion, not their situation. A very classy example of this is the nurse who refused to leave her patient’s side even though her shift was over, just because she was able to comfort her. In fact, I even noticed this, when an air hostess on the flight I was on, was insulted and even threatened by a male passenger just because she wouldn’t serve him more drinks. Anyone else would have retaliated or replied back, but she stood firm, with her head held high and managed the situation with great calm. I’m sure the passenger must have felt embarrassed about his behaviour later, once the wine wore off. Even a powerful CEO of a hospital chain, went out of her way to help an employee in distress winning their loyalty for life.

Women have always ended up surprising others, with their resolve, strength, dedication, and dexterity. I could go on writing about the fantastic women I meet each day, who slay demons, scale mountains and fight dogmas in their own way…every day.