Mumbai: Wife fulfils wedding vow to support cancer patients
Dimple Parmar's NGO Love Heals Cancer is her tribute to husband Nitesh
If 2018 has left you a tad cynical in the love department, let the story of Nitesh and Dimple Parmar ease some of those heart muscles. The two met as students at IIM Calcutta. While they were dating, Nitesh was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. However, even though his condition deteriorated, the two tied the knot in 2017. In March, Nitesh succumbed to the ailment. Now, as a tribute to her late husband, Dimple has started an organisation called Love Heals Cancer with the aim of providing emotional support, guidance regarding treatment options and raising funds for the treatment.
Dimple, a Santacruz resident, says Nitesh was diagnosed with Stage III Colorectal Cancer in September 2016 during a routine check-up. "Being a typical 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," she adds. The initial money for the treatment came was crowdsourced from friends and former professors. Hours spent studying together ended up with the two falling in love.
"We became the most famous couple in the institute and it was like a miracle for our families," she adds. In 2017, during their convocation, when Nitesh had won round 1, they two got engaged and soon started the wedding prep. However, in June 2017, scans showed that the disease had metastasized to his lungs, pelvis and abdomen. Yet, the wedding went on.
"In sickness and in pain. That's how the wedding vows go right? How could I leave him?" says Dimple. The couple went to the US, where he underwent experimental treatment. "But passed away in March this year," says Dimple, her eyes moist. The eight months as a married couple gave Dimple insight into the struggle cancer-ridden patients go through. This led them to start helping others through this process. "Nitesh constantly pondered upon how millions of people suffer from cancer and how can we give them hope and support them through their journey?" It was to become her life's journey.
Love Heals Cancer aims to help cancer patients "live better and, where possible, longer lives". "We offer support in the form of treatment, balanced information on choices in healing, integrative therapies, exploring emotional and spiritual dimensions of cancer, and discovering that illness can sometimes lead to a more prosperous and fuller life," adds the 24-year-old.
Formed in April, LHC is planning to open clinics in India, says Dimple. Until now, LHC has extended hospice care to over 100 patients and helped them with pain management. The organisation also provides grain, clothes and other support for families at Tata Memorial Hospital. Fifty patients have been connect with companies who have offered to fund treatment.
Patients helped by LHC
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe