Cancer survivors launch campaign

Cancer survivors launched a campaign to collect 2,50,000 signatures to light up Taj Mahal in gold colour to create awareness about the life threatening disease on the occasion of 15th International Childhood Cancer Day on Monday.

‘Light it up Gold Taj Mahal’ campaign was launched at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Twenty-five-year-old Ritu Bhalla, a two time cancer survivor, said: “We want Taj to turn gold as this is the colour of childhood cancer and the gold ribbon and gold light are the symbols that honour the courage and struggle of childhood cancer patients and their families.”

Scores of children with cancer wore light it up gold Taj Mahal T-shirts and participated in “I deserve” poster competition, she added.

“Our aim is to engage with children with cancer, their parents and families, doctors, nurses, hospitals donors, schools and colleges to get over 2,50,000 signatures pledging support to our ‘Light it up Gold Taj Mahal’ campaign,” said Chandan Kumar, a blood cancer survivor. 

 Pledging his support, to the survivor team, Director AIIMS Professor M C Misra said, “Childhood cancer is curable. Let’s pledge complete support to childhood cancer control programme. Lets us go gold – Light up Taj Mahal. People should recognise childhood cancer patients’ needs and give them a special focus.”

Light it up Gold Taj Mahal is being launched with 65 participating cancer centres across the country under the aegis of Kidscan Konnect – teenage and young adult childhood cancer survivors group of NGO Cankids Kidscan.

Sonal Sharma, NGO co-founder and parent of 19-year-old childhood cancer survivor Gungun, said: “Survival rates in the country are low due to lack of awareness, stigma, late diagnosis and exorbitant cost of treatment as well as inadequate cancer treatment facilities including insufficient supportive care.”

“Access to best possible treatment, care and support is the human right of every child with cancer in India – not a privilege. As survivors who have been through the journey, we are demanding that childhood cancer be a child health priority in India,” said Kapil Chawla Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor.

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