Diagnosis of a life-threatening disease can be very challenging for a person mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Such challenging times call for a lot of strength and support from loved ones. At the age of 38, Poonam Bagai was diagnosed with colon cancer. The news of the disease was shattering for her and her family.
The entire process of treatment was very stressful. But the entire experience made Poonam realize that many other people and children who get diagnosed with cancer don’t receive proper treatment due to various reasons.
At the time of her diagnosis, Poonam Bagai was settled in Warsaw, Poland. She worked as a civil servant. During that time, Poonam was already dealing with the language barriers and adjusting to a foreign country. She was living with her husband and kids. Poonam had to go through three surgeries, nine rounds of chemotherapy, and colostomy. Additionally, she faced depression and hopelessness. The entire process was very traumatizing.
Opening Up CanKids To Help Children Battling Cancer
Poonam remembers how hard the time of fighting cancer was for her and her family. After recovering, she opened CanKids. CanKids is an organization that provides medical and emotional support to children fighting cancer. The organization runs several programs to help children with cancer – skill building, education, awareness, medical help, psychological support, etc.
Initiatives Through CanKids
CanKids was the first organization that organized International Childhood Cancer Day in Delhi. During the event, four hospitals were present that agreed to provide medical treatment to 100 children. In 2008, CanKids branched out to other states. Poonam mentioned, “Currently, we are actively working in more than 122 hospitals. We are providing the best support possible for children seeking cancer treatment.”
Support Provided To Family, Friends and Relatives
Additionally, Cankids runs support groups for parents and family members of children diagnosed with cancer. People can share the best options for treatment and provide emotional support and strength to each other. In Mumbai, CanKids also runs a school for children suffering from cancer. CanKids aims to open more such schools in other parts of the country.
Problems In Treatment of Cancer
Poonam mentioned, “A major problem is the proper diagnosis and treatment of the problem. Even if the cancer is diagnosed many people do not get the treatment due to a lack of funds. For this, we are trying our best to reach out to state governments to make the treatment affordable for the Indian population. We have signed MoUs with some state governments.”
The Support Poonam Received
Poonam mentioned, “I remember when I was battling cancer, my entire family and my friends supported me throughout. They put their lives on hold for me. I received constant care. It made me realize how blessed I was. I want to do the same thing for these children. In addition to the treatment care, support, love, and hope are very important.”
Recognition Poonam Received For Her Noble Work
Poonam is the current vice-chairman of Pallium India. She was awarded for running a women-led organization where the majority percentage of employees working are women. Poonam is doing her best for the welfare of society. She is actively helping in providing support to children battling cancer. Mad4India wishes her all the best for all her future endeavors!
If you like this story, please read the motivation story – P. Kalyanasundaram, The Man Who Donated All His Life Savings For The Needy.