Once in three months, Priyanka Jadhav, 22, counsels children who have survived cancer at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Parel. She tells survivors to forget about their illness and move on with life.
Jadhav is herself a survivor of childhood cancer. When she was six, she suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of lymph tissue, around the neck region and treated at TMH for six months.
On World Cancer Day on Saturday, Jadhav, a student of interior decoration at JJ School of Arts, is organising a dance and arts workshop for children suffering from cancer.
“I roped in a few of my classmates to help me out,” said Jadhav, who is part of Ugam, a support group for childhood cancer survivors at TMH.
When she was about five years old, Jadhav got lumps on her body, later diagnosed as cancer symptoms. “My parents did not tell me that I had cancer. I was too young,” said Jadhav. Jadhav’s father, who worked in an export firm then, had to raise money for her cancer treatment and started ironing clothes to supplement the family’s income.
“Many patients drop out of school, I tell them to not stop their education because of cancer,” said Jadhav, who sports a large scar on her neck, the only sign of cancer left on her body.
Recalling some charitable organisations helped her parents, Jadhav said, “Strangers helped me when I had cancer. I wanted to do the same for others.”