Actor Lisa Ray has won over cancer and has now taken upon herself to not only spread awareness about it but also facilitate research on ­cancer. "Right now, we are starting a cancer research ­programme. Later, I hope to open a cancer research institute," she beams a smile.
For now, she would like an opportunity to promote ­awareness about it through ­cinema. "I think, I will simply have to help bring a different perspective on cancer to the big screen," she says, dismissing opinions that films show cancer as something incurable, thus are also responsible for creating panic around the disease.
"Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that cinema has its own unique ­language and you can’t expect it to educate people about cancer. The point is personal ­responsibility. It’s your body and your disease. Get smart about it and understand you have a lot to live for. And never stop fighting," she makes her point.
While many feel anguished when told they have cancer, Lisa on the other hand, was "relieved". "I had a unique reaction when I was diagnosed. I was relieved because I knew something was wrong with me; when you know what’s wrong, you can do something about it. The primary challenge was to survive and not to die, to make it very blunt," says the 42-year-old actor.
She adds, "At the same time, I knew the ­treatment won’t be easy. It was tough to deal with 40 pounds of steroids, watching my appearance change, feeling isolated and being judged as a cancer patient." However, she focussed on life and also started chronicling her journey on her blog, where she found immense support.