“As a kid, I loved talking to people. But growing up came in the way. I became a corporate
stooge–overworked & overstressed. I was unhappy & even thought of investing in a startup. That year, I prayed for only one thing on Ganesh Chaturthi, ‘Make me happy!’
But 8 days later, I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I was in shock. But all I could do was have faith. My husband & I quit our jobs & decided to start the treatment. For 5 tough months, we put our lives on hold & fought the cancer. I took this time to be with my family.
One such day, my dad told me how when I was 12, I wanted to know people & talk to them. Little did I know, I’d soon have that chance. After 9 cycles of chemo & an 8 hour surgery, I was finally given the ‘all-clear’. I’d beaten cancer!
The doctor insisted I go back to work. I didn’t think the corporate life was safe. But the doctor asked me to come by the hospital to talk to the patients. He was impressed & wanted me to help others cope!
I was hesitant but went anyway, not expecting much. It was hard to get through to people who’d given up. But when I said ‘I’d been there 2 months ago’–it caught their attention. We spoke for hours & in 2017, I became a certified counselor.
During recovery, my left side became weak due to my chemo. The only way to heal was exercise. I began walking on Marine drive with my husband holding me up. I even began jogging with my sister–I felt free!
That year, I ran my first Pinkathon. It was so tough. I almost gave up. My sister pushed me, but I didn’t listen. Finally, someone asked my sister to walk away. He asked me to take a deep breath & let go of her support. I was so angry at him.
But after that, I got up & jogged to the finish line. Only one thought ran through my mind, if I beat cancer, then this was nothing. Since then, I’ve run a marathon almost every month. I don’t like to believe ‘cancer’ happened to me. I like to believe ‘life’ happened to me & in hindsight...it gave me more happiness than I could’ve ever imagined.”
HoB with Nature Valley Snack Bars brings stories of ‘Runners of Bombay’ who fuel their lives with passion & purpose, against insurmountable odds.