Mumbai-based Love Heals Cancer (LHC) is a community of patients, caregivers, survivors, and volunteers aiming to provide free multiple healing services to cancer patients and their family members. For people outside Mumbai, the NGO provide services through video and telephone calls.
So far, it has provided counselling services to more than 1,000 patients across India.
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The organization employs more than 50 healthcare experts like psychologists, oncologists, and scientists, who have worked on designing the therapies and services, including yoga, therapy, nutritious dietary plans, healing circles (support groups), and counselling.
LHC was founded in June 2018, by Dimple Parmar, as a tribute to her husband, Nitesh Prajapat.
Dimple met Nitesh while pursuing an MBA at IIM-Calcutta in 2016. At that time, both of them were working on their respective startups, and the conversations around work soon culminated in a deeper bond.
Everything was normal until a routine check-up when Nitesh was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer. During the course, he moved to Mumbai for treatment and returned to Kolkata after a few months.
I was around to provide him with all the emotional support he needed, and it was tough for me not to fall in love with a witty, intelligent, practical, sensitive and caring man. I hit the jackpot; Dimple tells The Better India.
The feelings were mutual, and when he asked Dimple to marry her, she said yes immediately.
The fact that he had a deadly disease did not matter to me, all I knew was that I would spend the rest of my life with this man, and together we would fight all our battles.
The duo got engaged on the day of their graduation in April 2017 on the campus, where they met for the first time. A few days before the graduation came the good news—Nitesh had defeated cancer!
Unfortunately, two months later, in June, the cancer relapsed. This time the doctors detected 12 tumours in Nitesh.
“The doctors said he would not survive for more than six months. They had given up, but I didn’t. We got married in August and, seven days later, moved to the US to participate in clinical trials.”
Unfortunately, Nitesh’s health deteriorated in March 2018 he passed away.
“He was the epitome of strength and willpower, and in his last days, he redefined joy with his infectious smile. This is how I remember my soulmate,” shares Dimple.
The path to recovery from the journey was not as hard as the journey of treatment, Dimple says. But what made the days of treatment in the US bearable was the unconditional support from thousands of strangers from different parts of the world.
Dimple and Nitesh Prajapat had raised an online crowdfunding campaign for cancer treatments.
We had raised over a crore, but strangers’ and relatives’ blessings and good wishes kept us going in difficult times. Spirituality was another reason that kept both of us away from stress and a hostile atmosphere, adds the 28-year-old.
Amidst all this, Dimple realized the power of care and love. After Nitesh passed away, she dedicated her life to helping and supporting people going through a loss.
She quit her job, from which she had taken a sabbatical, and started an NGO. She also underwent counselling training from Commonweal, a cancer healing centre in California, the Center of Mind-Body Medicine in Washington DC, Healing Circles in Langley, and Block Center of Integrative Oncology in Chicago.
The heavy doses, radiation and pills can make a person emotionally weak and even push the patient into depression. Near-death experiences can be terrifying and take a mental toll on the body. She says I had people around me to support, and I am trying to give back to society through my organisation.
Dimple’s efforts to make death taboo-free and initiate open dialogues about the deadly disease to serve others selflessly are commendable.