CanSupport supports cancer patients and their families live with dignity, hope and comfort. Harmala Gupta, Founder of CanSupport explains in detail how the organisation provides physical and mental cancer support for people across socio-economic backgrounds.
Home Care Is Vital
At any one time, the professionals in CanSupport’s 12 home-care teams look after 750 families living in Delhi and its surrounding areas. Not only do they travel long distances every day, each one of them walks the extra mile.
Our nurses, doctors and counselors pride themselves on their professionalism and on their ability to tread where others fear to enter. This is not because the majority of patients live in low-income housing clusters where abject poverty and filth reside, but because they enter a realm where only the truly courageous go.
These are places within each one of us where we have to face ourselves without pretence. We have to realize that it wasn’t just the fairy-tale emperor who wore no clothes.
Courage & Heart
Along with courage it needs an open heart to admit that you may have been wrong and to ask for forgiveness. Saying simple words like “sorry’, “I love you” and “thank you” is what heals and adds meaning to those final goodbyes.
Death is indeed life’s change agent as Steve Jobs so eloquently put it. It is an opportunity we should never miss, more so when we know that we have limited time.
Our mission at CanSupport encompasses all aspects of a person’s sense of self, including relationships. This is because so much of who we think we are has been dictated by those around us. While this can be uplifting, their expectations can also crush us.
Supporting cancer patients in their time of need
We see people everyday struggling with pain which is deep-rooted. It lies in places beyond the reach of conventional medicine. However, there is no spot that is out of bounds for the human heart.
Our teams, trained in empathetic communication, identify these trouble spots and work with the person concerned to help resolve them. Always conscious of the fact that sometimes they can do nothing. This too must be accepted.
The most powerful weapon that our team members have is their supportive presence. It is not always about “doing” but about just “being”. Knowing that there is some one willing to listen to you without judging you is therapeutic in itself.
The spiritual connect
Finally, it is about connecting at a much deeper human level; some call it the spiritual connect. This can be a challenge for some one whose world is collapsing around them.
I remember how important it was for me when I was hospitalized and underwent surgery to establish my diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to be able to get out of bed and replace the ice-pack of the woman alongside me who needed a constant supply of ice-packs to soothe her burning throat. Being able to help her was my salvation.
Sadly, or should I say happily, there will always be some one whose need will be greater than yours. All you need to do is seize the opportunity.
For More Information & Volunteering Opportunities, please call +91-11-26711212 or visit www.cansupport.org
Harmala Gupta is a cancer-thriver, who has transcended her personal experience with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She is also the Founder-President of CanSupport, which is based in Delhi. Since 1996, CanSupport’s flag ship home-care program has brought medical, nursing, emotional and socio-economic support to the doorstep of thousands of people struggling with an advanced diagnosis of cancer, free of charge.