When you are suffering from a deadly disease like cancer, emotional, mental and financial support is always welcome, and two teenage sisters based in Dubai are showing their love and support to young cancer patients in Mumbai in a unique way.
Mehr and Shenaya Bhatia have decided to help young cancer warriors—by selling packs of organic nuts! The teenage sisters are associated with the Helping Hands Foundation, an NGO based in Mumbai that works with cancer patients.
As part of their ‘Accommodation Project,’ the sisters take part in local exhibitions and other events, selling organic nuts for 40 dirhams per packet, which is approximately Rs 750. Each pack of nut sold translates to a night’s stay at the Tata Memorial Hospital for one child.
During a recent visit to Mumbai, the sisters got to meet the children they have been helping from afar, and this has only strengthened their determination to go on supporting them.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Mehr said, “Communicating with the children in the hospital wasn’t very successful as they were quite young and shy to speak to visitors. Later, we visited a dharamshala where the kids and their families were staying during treatment, we spoke to a 17-year-old girl who told us about how she was treated in the Tata Memorial Hospital but her leukaemia then relapsed, and her whole family had to return to Mumbai from her village for the treatment. She has spent seven years of her life in and out of hospitals.”
Cancer does not only affect the patient but all their near and dear ones.
It is tiring to see your loved one suffer from the disease, make countless hospital visits and adjust to the drastic change in their physical appearance and personality with each passing day.
Parents, especially, have the toughest job in such times.
“We also had the chance to speak to some of the parents who told us about the struggles they go through and how their entire family is affected throughout the period of treatment. Both parents are required for the duration of the child’s stay in the hospital as usually the mother stays with the child and provides emotional support whereas the father then goes out to collect funds to support the rest of his family,” she said.
It is families like these that Mehr and Shenaya hope to help. In addition to their work with the Helping Hands Foundation, after their Mumbai meet, the sisters plan on giving talks in schools across Dubai.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)