Saturday, September 23, 2023
HomeNewsYour Story: After Losing Her Husband to Cancer, This Iim Alumnus Is...

Expert Guidance from Cancer Coach

I agree to Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy of ZenOnco.io

Your Story: After Losing Her Husband to Cancer, This Iim Alumnus Is Spreading His Message, Love Heals

Nitesh Prajapat and Dimple Parmar married after discovering he had Stage 4 colorectal cancer. They launched Love Heals Cancer in January 2018 to provide support, information, and services to help people in their battle against cancer.

Nitesh and Dimple

Cancer eats away not only at a patient; it slowly gnaws away at their loved ones as well. Amid the parched throats, joint aches, poor appetites, and weak and fragile bodies, the fear of death always looms large.

It was during a moment like this, in January 2018, that Nitesh Prajapat, who was battling last-stage colorectal cancer, and his wife, Dimple Parmar, decided they would dedicate the rest of their life to serving people and helping people struggling with cancer and their families.

“Nitesh’s last wish was to give hope to everyone around him, especially the countless people who are diagnosed with cancer every day. They fight this deadly disease, and often many lack the courage and resources. Through our organisation we wanted to give them a shout out: you are not alone, we are with you,” says Dimple, 28.

From 2016, when Nitesh was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer, the duo spent sleepless nights trying to study different ways of defeating this dreaded disease. From understanding the nature of cancer and how it can multiply and foster in one’s body to allopathic medications and holistic treatments, including dietary changes, yoga, meditation, pranic healings, and naturopathy, Dimple and Nitesh charted out a list of “do’s and don’ts” for cancer.   

The duo wanted to share information and give back to society, to people who had helped them through this challenging journey with financial and logistic support, by crowdfunding and through their IIT-IIM-Calcutta alum networks.

Nitesh went to the US to participate in clinical trials

They soon started Love Heals Cancer, a Mumbai-based non-profit organisation. Nitesh, 28, oversaw the website’s workings in the initial days of January 2018.

The organisation was founded to increase awareness about cancer prevention and help patients get through the journey with someone always by their side. Dimple, who understands the pain and suffering that family members and caregivers go through, also extends support to them.

After his demise in March 2018, Dimple continued to work on his dream. Today, she runs the organisation with volunteer groups across metro cities in India.

“We don’t charge anything and never intend to. We just want to help those in need and spread their stories around the world for they are the true fighters among us,” says Dimple, an IIM-Calcutta alumnus.

Over the past year, Dimple has reached out to over 1,000 cancer patients and families across the globe and provided them with counselling services.

Love and service above all. The duo graduated from IIM Calcutta.

The eldest among his siblings, Nitesh was the family’s sole earning member, working hard to improve his family’s condition. An alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and studying at IIM-Calcutta, he founded Appeti, a curated online marketplace. While completing his MBA in 2016, he met Dimple, who was working on her startup, Zaple, at the campus. The couple interacted over coursework, bonded over startup and entrepreneurial dreams, and fell in love.

In June 2016, a routine health checkup revealed that Nitesh had Stage 3 colorectal cancer. He was broken but managed to rise above the initial shock and, with his family’s support, started treatment. He logically approached his health condition, believing there was a solution to every problem.

“Like any MBA student, he listed his short-term and long-term goals, organised funding details, on-going academic requirements, treatment options, and diet plan using Excel sheets,” Dimple recalls.

Through this journey, Dimple stood resolutely by Nitesh’s side. When Nitesh had to move to a place closer to the lecture hall during his MBA, Dimple chose to stay close to him to help him in his difficult time.

“When a person watches their life come to a close, everything else doesn’t matter. It turns out that something as simple as love is the only thing that matters,” Dimple says.

Despite his failing health, the couple decided to get engaged on their graduation day in April 2017. The following year was filled with interventions, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. However, just when Nitesh and Dimple thought they had defeated the dreaded disease, a post-treatment scan in June showed that the disease had metastasised to his lungs, pelvis, and other abdominal areas. There were a total of 12 tumours.

Nitesh and Dimple at their wedding

Not willing to accept defeat, Nitesh and Dimple decided to get married and vowed never to leave each other’s side. And a newlywed Dimple promised to heal her husband with faith and love. They moved to the US to participate in various clinical trials and began crowdfunding for resources.

“When Nitesh and I first landed in the US for treatment, we felt like lost children, helpless, and remarkably incapable of making it on our own. However, we received financial and logistics support, and an immense amount of love and care from complete strangers,” she recalls.

A Gujarati family, who learned about them through the IIT-IIM alum network, adopted them in America and helped them with housing; a local Indian prayer group helped them with groceries and food services.

“By January 2018, Nitesh was in pain, but there was no suffering. There was so much love and happiness in him; he wanted to give all this support back to the society that unconditionally helped him. And we decided to start Love Heals Cancer,” Dimple shares.   

Nitesh undergoing treatment

Also read: Meet the 24-year-old doctor taking cancer prevention measures in rural India.

Serving Humanity

On March 14, 2018, cancer took Nitesh away from Dimple. Numb, Dimple couldn’t work for weeks. However, along with her mother Indira Parmar’s help, in June, she decided that she would dedicate the rest of her life to completing her husband’s dream.

Through Love Heals Cancer, she aims to provide support, information, and services to help people in their journey against cancer. Their primary goal is to help cancer patients, their family members, friends, loved ones, and others find unbiased information about healing options in conventional and integrative therapies. They also look at cancer’s psychological and spiritual aspects and advocate communities of people with similar experiences to share and support each other.

Dimple and a group of volunteers visit children receiving cancer treatment at the Tata Memorial Hospital.

“We also want to urge people to look at healing holistically – encompassing the mind, body, and spirit. Our team regularly goes through various researches conducted across the globe and shares finding with people. We want to make LHC a platform for anyone seeking information or support for cancer,” Dimple explains.

Dimple received counselling training from Commonweal, a non-profit cancer healing centre based in California. Multiple organisations supported her, including Service Space and Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad.    

Also read: Healthtech startup Niramai makes breast cancer screening safe and low-cost.

Love Heals Cancer

LHC is a community of patients, caregivers, survivors, volunteers, individuals, and organisations, dedicated to providing love and support to cancer patients worldwide.

Partnering with US-based cancer-care programmes at Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, Love Heals Cancer provides the following services to patients and caregivers across India.

Nitesh’s last wish was to help others suffering from this disease.

1. Holistic healing

They help patients with complementary and integrative approaches to cancer by informing them about natural products and herbs, which help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment; train individuals in mind-body practices, which helps them to strengthen their mind and resolve to fight this disease; advocate healthy diet and exercises; engage in prayer and spiritual healing, thereby providing them with the energy to go beyond the limitation of the body.

2. Healing circles

This international learning community focuses on creating psycho-social support circles for people with cancer and other conditions. The aim is to explore healing in a learning community.

“Whether we feel broken or damaged by illness or some other condition, or incomplete through the trauma of loss or absence, the question remains: how do we make ourselves whole?,” Dimple explains.

Through healing circles, the team works with patients and caregivers, enabling them a safe environment to speak about their problems. Along with the community, they work together to discover the best ways to remove obstacles to healing, alleviate suffering, and deepen their healing capacity.

3. Love Heals Cancer Help Programme

This is a three-day retreat to help participants live better and, where possible, longer lives. The programme aims to address “the unmet needs” of people with cancer. It offers a balanced exploration of choices in healing, biomedical, integrative therapies, and emotional and spiritual dimensions of cancer.

4. End-of-Life Conversation

This initiative aims to discuss death and dying with the patient and their families. This is done through conversations and mindful open discussions. The most important aspect is to accept death as a part of life. The team helps patients through meditation, decision-making, and death contemplation.

5. Mind-Body Medicine Education

This programme teaches contemplative practices and skill-based approaches for successfully navigating the challenging caregiving environment. Through workshops and training seminars, the initiative trains individuals, organisations, communities, and institutions to become caregivers and get well-versed with the challenges of cancer treatment.

Also read: India’s charge against cancer is being led by a vanguard of startups.

A healing touch

Despite losing a loved one at a young age, Dimple believes she has lived a complete life with Nitesh.

“It doesn’t matter how many years you live; what matters is how much you live in those years,” Dimple says.

Presently based in Mumbai, she hopes to extend the multiple programmes across India.

“By healing another individual, you heal yourself as well. I know how quickly death comes, so I understand the value of life. By serving each patient, I feel closer to Nitesh, and I live to fulfil his dream and serve every individual battling this disease,” Dimple concludes. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here