Our priority is in treating the patient who is in immediate need. We are happy that we have aided 3788 in their fight against cancer in Chennai, Mumbai & Coimbatore. In Chennai our own hospital has seen a turnover of 13000 plus patients and 2171 have received chemotherapy free or highly subsidized. While at Mumbai, patients’ treatment is supported at various hospitals that include Tata Memorial, KEM hospital, Sion hospital and more.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.
The year 2001 was a turning point in Trust whence Mr. G. K. Ramamurthy came into our lives. He initiated a big fund towards treatment and has continued till date. Subsequently many individuals and corporates have come forward and allocated funds specifically for the treatment of patients, some even for specific type of cancers. Thus, the last 21 years has seen a major jump in terms of patients supported and the number of cancer victors.
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 13000 patients over the last 14 years. 2171 patients have taken chemotherapy here and hundreds of them have already been pronounced cured after taking treatment here.
This year the entire infrastructure of the day care ward has undergone a change. From cots & mattresses , new monitors and a new defibrillator.This is thanks to generous donations by philanthropists from Erode, Coimbatore & Chennai .
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. Over 1800 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
With the activities 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. From March’22 spoken English classes for the cancer patients/survivors have also commenced after the Yoga class. The enthusiastic learners also performed a maiden skit on the Cancer Victors day on 15th June at Mysore Association.
A donor beneficiary meet was held at the centre on 1st July’22. A team of 15 executives from the Shapoorji Pallonji group interacted with our cancer patients and spent the day with them. They had games and also gave gifts, groceries and made the day memorable.
Ms. Neeta Srinivas, one of our well wishers in association with another NGO distributed 50 mega groceries kit for 50 cancer survivors at our centre.
1326 patients have visited the centre for financial aid.4714 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 3384 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. 2953 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.
139 pediatric patients have been supported till date. 4879 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 continue at KEM Hospital and we have added one more activity of maintaining a small library for the patients & their care givers. Thanks to Nidhi Jain, a cupboard full of attractive hard bound books, storytelling books, colourful drawing books, picture books etc. adorn the day care centre. As usual our volunteers visit the day care centre twice a week and spend quality time with the children reading stories, engaging in craft activities etc. Distribution of ration is given every Wednesday. This year on children’s day in association with Nilima Jain, we distributed a gift hamper of dry fruits, biscuits, chocolates etc. to all the patients in the ward.
In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child – L. Frank Baum
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 triumph over cancer is celebrated every year by the trust since the year 2001. It is called the “Cancer Victors’ Day “and the event is held both at Mumbai and Chennai. The event is always spectacular and is enthusiastically attended by the victors. 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.
Last year it was held in Chennai on 28th Aug 22 at Hotel Radha regent, Koyembedu. Covid restrictions limited the victor participation to 100, but we had 102 victors with one of their relatives to attend the function. It was heartening that kids with Blood cancers from as long as 32 years ago honoured our invitation. They are grown up men and women now, who were well settled in life, married and have children. There were elderly men and women, 60 plus and as old 92, who had successfully battled out cancer. The conglomeration of all these victors was truly inspiring and when they waved the lamps which signifies their rebirth the hearts of all the concerned swelled with a sense of pride and brought in a tear of joy to the eyes.
In Mumbai the cancer victors’ day was celebrated on 4th of June 2022 at Mysore Association auditorium, Matunga. The event was well attended by over 150 cancer victors. The Chief Guest, Dr. Sudeep Gupta, Director, ACTREC, Tata Memorial Centre was very much appreciative of the Trust’s work on cancer awareness and explained how awareness campaigns over the last few decades have helped in reducing the average size of tumours by way of early detection. Mrs Priya Muralidharan of GKR Foundation had passionately taken the lead role in the English-speaking course designed for the Cancer victors under the Rehabilitation project of the Trust. Thanks to this the victors presented an English skit on the occasion which was well received and enthused the other victors to join the course. As always, the victors had many goodies to carry home along with lunch which was courtesy a large group of donors.
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.
On the Anniversary of the trust we held the Vasantha Mitra meet on 4th Dec’21and invited Dr.Bhairavi Shukla, Physician, covid specialist & Nutritionist who spoke to a limited audience of 30 survivors on covid precautions & coping with it. She also gave simple homemade recipes for boosting the immunity.
Women’s Day this year was celebrated over a week with many events at the centre. On 5th March’22 Yoga classes resumed after covid and the launch of the Spoken English classes for the cancer victors followed. After an enthusiastic class hot lunch was served before the Vasantha Mitra meet. The Guest was Ms. Sunita Jadhav, sr.medical social worker of Tata Memorial Hospital. She spoke on women empowerment and highlighted the various schemes the patients can avail of at the hospital. The meet ended with bollywood songs by Kartick & Sayali. Ms. Bharati Dalal, Mrs.& Mr.Bacha also graced the event.
Nidhi Jain, Nutritionist addressed 35 cancer survivors on 20th April’22 about the need for good health and gave useful tips on nutrition. 15th June’22 the Guest speaker Dr. Jyoti Sagle, Psychiatrist spoke about the need to open up about mental health. Help is near but one has to talk about it.
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 Shammi Yogalaya. 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.
Yoga classes resumed after covid and teachers from Shammi Yogalaya diligently come every week to teach the survivors. The survivors are benefitted and they too take that extra mile to come regularly for the classes. We thank Ms. Shammi & her team for the continued support for so many years.
Spoken English classes
Saturdays now are no longer only Yoga, the classes are now followed by spoken English classes for a group of eager cancer survivors. Their enthusiasm to learn English to converse with donors, to speak to their children & grandchildren was always there in their minds. Many times they had asked us, so we initiated talks with Mrs Priya Muralidharan who has been conducting such classes. Along with her team, the first class was held on 5th March’22 and these classes are now conducted on Saturday after the yoga classes.
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!!
Tradition continued at the centre and 25 children affected with cancer were treated to a party at the centre on 21st Dec’21. Children were delighted see the centre decorated with Christmas tree, balloons and also to be welcomed with chocolates & cakes by Santa Claus, The highlight of the day was a magic show which the children totally loved. The children were served snacks and lunch and also a goody bag containing board games, colouring books, crayons, blankets and delicious cakes, muffins, chocolates and many more take aways.
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.