The priority and primary focus of our trust is providing treatment to the cancer affected. We are happy that we have led the fight 3358 patients and seen many of them cross the victory line.
The more curable the cancer is the more support they get from the trust. Nevertheless, every cancer affected is helped to some extent. Predominantly cancers of blood and breast are supported for chemotherapy. Surgery and radiotherapy are not being presently sponsored.
At Chennai free or discounted chemotherapy is provided at the Vasantha Memorial Cancer Centre. While at Mumbai, patients’ treatment is supported at various hospitals that include Tata Memorial, KEM hospital, Sion hospital and more.
In the initial years the common fund raised through several means supported the treatment of patients. In 2001, Mr. G.K. Ramamurthy gave us a big fund towards patient care and this boosted the recruitment of patients for support. Subsequently many such good Samaritans and corporates have come forward and allocated funds specifically for the treatment of patients, some even for specific type of cancers. Thus, the last 2 decades has seen a major jump in terms of patients supported and this has borne fruit, the number of cancer victors is steadily on the rise!
Our support of patient does not end with treatment or its sponsorship but beyond that to counselling, providing ancillary care during treatment and finally rehabilitating them as useful citizens in the community.
Vasantha Memorial Cancer Centre
Ashok Nagar , Chennai , 9791048379
This is a cancer clinic cum chemotherapy centre that provides the optimal chemotherapies for cancer affected. All consultations are FREE, there are no bed charges or nursing charges and the only thing the patient pays is for the cancer drugs that too is highly subsidized or free.
Nearly 900 donors which included individuals, charities, corporates aided to create this modern centre with an ICU like facility day care ward and it was inaugurated on 27th Aug 2008. It has seen a turnover of over 12000 patients over the last 13 years. 2000 plus patients have taken chemotherapy here and hundreds of them have already conquered cancer after taking treatment here.
In addition, the centre also serves a learning centre. Patients and relatives are taught the necessary steps needed for a smooth going during chemotherapy. Breast cancer awareness is conducted on a frequent basis. Workshops are periodically conducted here to train volunteers as educators who in turn reach out to people the basics of cancer right at their homes. Cancer detection camps are held annually and over 1500 women have been provided with FREE Mammograms. The centre has tied up with several scan centres and Labs to enable patients get their tests done at highly subsidized prices. In sum the centre ensures that even the poorest of poor affected with cancer gets the best in terms of all round care.
Vasantha Memorial Cancer Centre, Mumbai
In the 10 years since the Mumbai chapter began its operations the chapter had become very busy and it was difficult to function out of the Trustee’s flat. Secondly cancer screening camps were receiving good patronage and a space was required for this. On 4th Dec 2011 the trust opened its own office at a 2 bedroom flat at Kannamwar nagar in Vikhroli .The place also functioned as clinic and was to become a rehabilitation centre in the future.
With the activities once again having increased manifold the need for a larger space was required. It was a joyous occasion when we shifted to a larger space at Kailas Industrial complex, Vikhroli west on 15th June 2019.
The new centre has 3 clinics, a counseling room, a spacious hall with an admin room and a pantry facility. Thrice a week, screening & pap smear tests for women are done by Gynecologists. Oral screening for men & women are organized so also counseling sessions for patients & relatives are done by qualified counselors. Trained volunteers conduct cancer awareness lectures to corporate groups, women self help groups on a daily basis and also prior to the screening tests. Monthly meets of Vasantha Mitra, Xmas & Diwali parties, workshops are conducted in the large hall. Patients seeking financial aid come daily from various hospitals are attended by our volunteers and advised. Yoga courses for the victors are held every Saturday in batches.
1079 patients have visited the centre for financial aid.4310 women have been given the awareness & screened at our centre. For details of the address & facilities click here
The association with Tata Memorial Hospital began around 15 years back & we were given special held desk at the first floor of the Golden Jubilee block.in year 2009. This functions from Mondays to Fridays from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
A full time staff & volunteers coordinate with the patients and the medical social worker to receive appeals for treatment sponsorship primarily for blood & breast cancers. Many a times, patients with other cancers also visit and a token aid is given to them also. Mrs, Prabhavathi Mhatre, who also mans our desk at the Hospital, visits the chemotherapy wards to give talk on personal hygiene during chemotherapy. For several years now our volunteers have been conducting post-operative sessions for breast cancer patients every Saturday in coordination with the physiotherapy department of the Hospital.
Total number of patients sponsored at this hospital is 3009 till date. Many patients received aid more than once. 6189 patients were met and given the talk on personal hygiene at the chemotherapy wards. Patients seeking aid at the desk are also given this talk. 2316 patients have attended the post breast operative sessions on drain care & suture care till date. Every year hundreds of children have been given books & raincoats. Thousands till date have been distributed gift hampers at the wards on different occasions. Patients are also taken out on picnics, harbour cruises, films etc.
Apart from treatment, the Trust also participates in various activities at the Hospital such as Rose Day, Diwali celebrations and International Women’s Day and distribute gift hampers to the patients at the wards.
Even during the pandemic, direct sponsorships for patients was done through the medical social workers at the Tata Memorial Hospital. No sooner we were allowed to resume at our help desk we were on the site assisting and aiding patients as always.
The trust also aided in a small way for covid testing kits for the cancer patients and personal hygiene hampers for the cancer patients who turned covid positive. We are thankful to Corporate like HDFC Ltd, STCI Finance Limited & Longulf Trading (India) Pvt Ltd who have been a major source of support for this aid. With every year, the financial support for the patients has increased and we are happy that we have been able to make a difference. Many who have completed their treatment make it a point to be there for our Cancer victors Day program in February. That says it all!
The trust opened its Mumbai chapter on 4th Dec 1999 at the premises of the Hematology dept at KEM hospital then headed by Dr. Farah Jijina.
It started by sponsoring deserving patients in the ward for chemotherapy. Every week the volunteers used to meet patients who needed financial aid and also reached out to each of the patients admitted in the ward to counsel them on personal hygiene during chemotherapy. This was much appreciated and we involved the pediatric patients in craft activities and also distributed coloring books to keep them busy. The patients waited eagerly for the volunteers to arrive the next week with another set of gifts and goodies. The trust then started another activity of giving ration under the “Mother & Child project”. Other than these activities, patients are taken out for harbor cruise, Christmas parties at the centre and many of them also attend our cancer victor’s day program in February. Like we do in Tata memorial hospital distribution of gifts during rose day, children’s day and other occasions are also done here by our volunteers.
100 plus pediatric patients have been supported till date. 4365 packets of ration have been distributed till now. Many individual donors were happy to be a part of our Mother& Child project and we are thankful for this gesture.
Activities at TATA ACTREC, Kharghar
Activities for the adults and paediatric patients have been going on very well and are carried out by a very small team of dedicated volunteers. Activities include riddles, games, karaoke, drawing, story-telling, magic shows etc. The volunteers go there twice a week and counsel around 25 plus patients on personal hygiene. Here too sponsorships for patients are done with recommendations from the medical social workers. Gift hampers are distributed on Rose day, International Women’s Day etc. The activities had come to a standstill due to the pandemic and will soon commence like before.
At Sion Hospital : On 27.3.2000, cancer help desk was opened at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College & Hospital, Sion to take care of poor patients with cancers of breast and blood.. The trust also donated 2 TVs for the Pediatric ward. Then on every Friday the trust volunteer visited the Pediatric OPD no.7 to reach out to the ALL patients. Lack of patronage caused its closure very soon. This year the trust assisted by providing cots ,masks, other ancillaries for COVID care as a special case.
The victors who have triumphed over cancer gather every year in the 2nd weekend of February and we from the trust feel privileged and happy to host a celebration for them every year. This event is like “Diwali ” to us as it brings tons of happiness. The affected is happy to have conquered the disease, family & friends are happy that their loved one has retained life and it is sans cancer & the care providers are happy that their efforts have borne fruits. And that world is happy that is there is life after cancer. The fact that cancer can be triumphed over is best learnt on this day & that there are so many to cheer this victory is also evident on this day.
The celebration in Mumbai ( 2nd Saturday ) & Chennai ( 2nd Sunday ) of February is always a grand event. Cultural programs entertain, prominent citizens from the city grace the occasion and donors queue up to gift the victors in a huge way. The highlight is of course the “ lamp lighting ceremony ” which to the victors symbolizes their rebirth after cancer.
For the last few years, a special campaign “One Rose 3 Cheers” is run alongside this event. The coupons which are priced at Rs. 100/- enables people from far and near to cheer the victors. A fraction from this sum also goes to provide treatment to those cancer affected and aid awareness programs. The loudness of the cheer is on the rise every year and you too can add to this by sending your rose, it is only a click away …
Vasantha Mitra support group of breast cancer victors & patients
Vasantha Mitra – support group for cancer victors was inaugurated on 22nd August 2017 and has got a great response ever since. These monthly get-togethers are held at the centre and speakers from various faculties are invited. These sessions are very interactive and the participants can ask their queries to the doctors who otherwise would not have been able to give them time at the hospital. Getting quality time with the guests to clarify their doubts helps them get over their anxiety too.
Guest speakers include Oncologists, Onco-surgeons, clinical therapists, nutritionists etc. At the new centre, there is more participation of the victors & in the last two years, victors have begun to look forward to this event as an occasion for an outing and social gathering, a welcome break from the routine humdrum life. It is a happy sight to see 50 plus women coming for these sessions every month. After the lecture, there are games, music and various entertaining programs followed by hot cuppa of tea and snacks served by our ever smiling volunteers. On special occasions like Diwali & Women’s Day, the Trust finds sponsors for giving away gift hampers too. We also take them out for picnics, harbour cruise etc.
Yoga Course for Cancer Victors
In June2018, the Guest speaker for the monthly meet of Vasantha Mitra was Ms. .Shammi Gupta, Yoga Guru & Founder of ShammiYogalaya. She taught basic yoga postures to reduce stress levels and easy flexibility. The participants were very much enthused by this session and wished to do it as a period course. Ms. Shammi chalked out a special course highlighting exercises for arm care and upper body. This was a three month course with a weekly session of two hours. 15 of them were enrolled in the first batch and in the second batch that followed few from the first batch also continued as they said it was very helpful for them.
A well spent day brings happy sleep – Leonardo da Vinci
Xmas party at the centre
Christmas is all about giving, joy, parties, Xmas trees & Santaclaus! For many years our volunteers used to give gifts & goodies to the pediatric patients at the Hematology ward of KEM Hospital. From 2016 onwards 25-30 pediatric patients are invited from Tata, KEM and other hospitals to the centre and grand party is organized for them.
The whole centre is decked up with lights, balloons, Christmas garlands, large Christmas stockings. A beautiful Christmas tree with stars, bells, festive ribbons and many more Christmas ornaments are decorated with a big star on the top. One of the staff or volunteer dressed as Santaclaus welcomes the children with chocolates & Merry Christmas music played in the background. All of us don red Christmas cap and a joyous atmosphere for a nice Christmas party is held. There is song and dance, games, storytelling, puppet show and craft work for these children. Hot snacks are served and loads of gifts made into beautiful gift hampers are given to the children. What better way than this to end a memorable year and welcome the New Year!!
A home for outstation patients was donated by Mr.Jagadeesan & his wife Mrs.Rajeshwari from Kovaipudur,Coimbatore to our Chennai chapter in the year 2011. The fully furnished flat housed several patients during their chemotherapy at Chennai and they found it very In the last couple of years the number of patients coming from outstation has decreased substantially.
In view of this , the facility has been closed in January this year. The proceeds will now be utilized for the development of a rehabilitation centre at Mumbai. The trust thanks the Jagadeesans for their
huge & spontaneous donation.