64-year-old breast cancer survivor performs 302 Surya Namaskars

He had to face social stigma as breast cancer is associated with women

64-year-old breast cancer survivor performs 302 Surya Namaskars

T N Shivakumar was 54 years old when he was diagnosed with third-stage breast cancer in 2004 and he was glad because after several downfalls in life, he did not want to live.

On Sunday, he performed 302 Surya Namaskars in six-and-a-half hours at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, without a break to catch his breath or have a sip of water.

“Doctors told me that I would live only for three months. But after 13 years, I am still alive and healthy. I performed the Surya Namaskars to set an example to others that it is possible to defeat cancer and live a healthy, happy life,” Shivakumar said. He also wanted to thank Kidwai Institute, where he received his treatment.

Facing social stigma
Shivakumar had to face social stigma as breast cancer is something associated only with women.

“I could not talk to anyone about my problems because my male friends would not understand me. Awareness about it is less. I met some breast cancer patients from America and they were able to come out and talk about it boldly,” he said.

Shivakumar has been advocating the Ayurvedic system of medicine after it helped him recover from his cancer treatment, which included an operation, radiation and hormone tablets.

Record of experience
He wrote a book about his experience when he was receiving treatment for weakness in his lower limbs in 2005. “Ayurveda has helped me a lot. I used to find it difficult to go the Government Ayurvedic Medical College for my treatment but now I can walk up to 15 km,” Shivakumar said.

He has written several books on mental health and the benefits of Ayurveda, and is growing 10,000 medicinal herbs near his house in NR Colony to supply to the AYUSH department.

Ayurveda unit
Shivakumar is thankful that the Ayurveda unit in Kidwai Institute has been reinstated and is pushing for a similar unit in Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases.

“If they open an Ayurveda unit there, I will perform 302 Surya Namaskars there, too,” Shivakumar said.

At 64, he keeps himself busy, regularly visiting Kidwai hospital to talk to cancer patients and provide them support.

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