by Kanika Sabhlok
On 27th October, 2013, Manipal University hosted an event called “Dhol Baje” -a dandiya event to celebrate Navratri, in collaboration with the local Rotract Club. We got an opportunity to put up an informative booth at the event, where volunteers gave informative brochures to the public and explained to them about the causes and risks associated with oral cancer.
This idea was successful since many students were reached out to and it was stressed upon how smoking can adversely affect their lives. Volunteers also raised money by banding people with a black ribbon, to encourage them to join this fight against oral cancer. Overall, it was a fun filled night with dancing, clicking of the dandiya sticks and of course, arms tied with black ribbons – showing their support to fight oral cancer.
Eva Grayzel, a Stage IV oral cancer survivor and a performance artist recently released a video about her story and shared it with us. She has presented the course of therapy from the eyes of an oral cancer patient. It is a tender story, yet shows so much of strength shown by her and her family in fighting with oral cancer. She has survived cancer for more than a decade and has spread the word about it since then, creating general awareness and saving lives.
“It all started with a little sore on the side of my tongue” Eva says and for the next two years the symptoms did not show the gravity of the condition and she couldn’t be rightly diagnosed. That’s how her story started and could have ended same time if she were timely diagnosed and treated for oral cancer. But it took a very long time and the condition worsened.
Eva jumping for joy in Monument Valley Utah….another day of life to celebrate!
“ Crying made my symptoms unbearable. I learned faster to control the tears. I fought ugly thoughts with pretty ones. I replaced unhappy endings with happy ones. I dreamed about my future.”
“Throughout my ordeal with oral cancer, I never lost my ability to make a choice. When we choose whatever our life challenges with strength, we turn adversity into opportunity, an opportunity to leave a legacy, a legacy of choosing courage. Choosing gratitude. Choosing moments to cherish.”
With such thoughts, Eva fought the malady of cancer and inspires others with her story.