The incredible work that Akriti Gupta and her mother are doing for the breast cancer survivors deserves all the appreciation. The word cancer still builds a sense of fear among us but it’s good to know that people are not isolating these fighters, rather coming forward to help them live a better life and regain a sense of self. We, the people at Mad4India, are extremely proud of the work they are doing and it inspires us more to work for the betterment of society. And not just us, they are setting an example for the youngsters of the society who are the future of the country.
As per a report of Breast Cancer Statistics in 2018, they saw that there were 1,62,468 news cases registered and 87,090 reported deaths recorded. Some observe that this cancer is on the rise in both rural and urban areas of India. Over 50% of women suffer from stage 3 and stage 4 of breast cancer and cancer recovery becomes more difficult in the later stages.
Akriti Gupta’s Background Story
Hailing from Faridabad, Akriti Gupta completed her studies in Social Entrepreneurship at Tata Institute of Social Sciences after she finished her graduation. Her father was diagnosed with a rare type of blood cancer in 2015 and was given a 10 percent survival chance. From the age of 17, she started seeing the lives of cancer patients up close. She and her mother observed that Akriti’s dad found a reason for living every time they talked about setting up an NGO. He had a spark in his eyes and they realized it was a way that they could use to motivate him by working with cancer. Motivating Akriti’s dad to fight was the reason behind them working for this cause.
While doing her master thesis on studying mental health issues in cancer survivors, she came across the problem that the unawareness and lack of health facilities often lead to late-stage diagnosis in breast cancer. This often leads to undergoing mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissues. Most people who undergo this surgery often feel the need to restore the shape to feel like a part of the society and this leads to their both physical and mental health is disturbed.
An Inspiring Change – A Step Forward to Help Them
After deciding that she wanted to take on the entrepreneurial journey, she and her mother together founded CanFem in February 2020. It is based in Haryana and its major focus is to design both affordable and comfortable, excellent quality breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras for breast cancer patients and survivors. She had also set up peer groups before stepping into this journey through which she connected several cancer patients and survivors. She started this to curb the major issues of lack of awareness about cancer and fight against the taboo.
CanFem–A Comfortable Alternative for the Cancer Survivors
After receiving approval from the All India Institute of Medical Science, they launched it in 2020. While making the products, they kept in mind the geographical features of our country, along with the purchasing power of the Indian customers. The products are so made that they are economically workable and can also be worn during tropical climates. They come in several sizes of three different shapes, triangle, round, and drop. Their prices range between Rs.499–Rs.1999. on request, they also make customizable shapes and sizes.
If you liked this story, read about Rutuchakra, which has been spreading awareness about menstrual health and hygiene among women.