Kavita Vaidya Gupta is the co-founder of Win Over Cancer and is accounted for innovating the indigenous skin friendly, medically approved and cost-effective prosthetic bra and gives them without any monetary gain to breast cancer survivors.
Win Over Cancer was founded by Kavita and her husband Arun who himself is fighting cancer. It aims to provide emotional support to cancer patients, to increase awareness about cancer and to reduce the cost of its treatment. It aims to provide sustainable earning opportunities for cancer survivors and the relatives of deceased patients. It is all about their journey with cancer. Whatever problems they faced during Arun’s treatment it became their foundation’s mission.
Her interactions with doctors and patients in the cancer wing let Kavita have an overview of their plight. With time she had a detailed understanding of Breast Prosthesis and its medical need after Mastectomy (Breast removal Surgery). Breast Prosthesis available in the market were very expensive, mostly imported from abroad, and did not meet the conditions for the Indian climate. In order to cater to this problem, she began the process of designing a Breast Prosthesis. After multiple attempts and feedbacks from Doctors and hospitals, she finally designed a Prosthetic Bra that is low on cost, skin friendly, weight-balancing, durable, and easy to use which was eventually approved by the renowned hospitals like AIIMS, CMC Vellore and many others. Kavita distributes these Bras for free to the breast cancer survivors. This distribution program has benefited patients pan India and neighboring countries for more than 2 years now.
She has been felicitated with a number of regional and national awards and her story has been published by various national and international news dailies and oncology magazines. Today Kavita stands as an inspiration to many who wish to bring a positive change in the society and contributes toward making a difference.
It was april 2011, the day when India was playing world cup final, My Husband got hospitalised for high fever and by the end of the week Arun was diagnosed with Blood Cancer (CLL). It was a big setback for both of us. But we were counselled by our doctor that it was a very slow growing cancer and not a life threatening one and for now there is no need for any requisite treatment. He can live a normal life life with some regular checkups. My Husband is a tough man. He started interacting with the cancer fighters and writing some blogs and ended up finding ”WIn Over Cancer” in the year 2011.
Everything was going well till september 2015 when Arun’s clinician told him that his reports were deteriorating and within 2-3 months he would require taking chemotherapy. This news was again a shock for me as in these four years I developed this strong belief that he will be cured without taking chemos as he was taking some strong ayurvedic treatments but this time I had no clue that this is the beginning of a journey of its own kind.
When my HUsband shared about his disease to his employers they showed him the way to sit at home and take care of his health. Despite having the post of C.F.O. in his firm he lost his job because of the disease he has. But he didn’t give up and being a qualified chartered account he started his own practice. I have learned from him to “ Never Give Up, it's a Crime.”
And in all this due course, it was January 2016, the beginning of the year which was going to be historic for us.
On 2nd January ‘16, his reports turned out to be worst and we were told that his treatment has to start as early as possible but I was not able to accept it as all this while I was believing that the disease will be cured without doing the Chemo and some sort of miracle will happen. I started visiting Temples, astrologers, pandits, Parrot speakers performing all the rituals they asked us to perform. One day I got a hysteria attack and I was taken care by my niece. She started counselling and one thing I grabbed from her was ‘ Accept your problems, then they’ll love you.”
I followed this. So I accepted that arun has to take Chemotherapy to get cured. It wa s25th January we visited our doctor and told him to go on with the required treatments. The moment we took the decision, things turned getting on track. On 26th Jan we went out on a family Picnic It turned out to be real the moment I accepted my problem And it started leaving me. I realised that my problem was not Chemo, it was my strong belief that he will get cured without the Chemo.
On January 28th he was admitted to the hospital and he went through three chem sessions in three days. And it seemed that now everything will be alright.
BUt the worst had still to come. After his first chemo my husband got fever and lymph nodes came back as well. Doctors had to perform some advanced tests and when the results came they said it was Richter's Transformation which meant a new cancer grew on his body and now he had to fight with Leukemia and Lymphoma.
We were told that this happens to only 5% of CLL Patients. There was only 10% chance he would survive. The Treatment is going to be very tough and Expensive, of course. They gave us time to go home and think about whether to take the treatment or not. It was restless night and I could say, the worst and the darkest phase of my life. And around 2 a.m. I burst into tears and I was Crying and Crying and didn’t know what to do. In that situation I called up Arun’s cousin who was aware of the situation and from there I got another Mantra of my life.
“ We always know about the best and worst of our situation, but from today we will think only think about the best and it will come back to us.”
The next day we visited the doctor again and started the discussion, again, but with a positive attitude this time. Arun told the doctor that he can be in 5% of whom can get Ritcher’s then I can be in those 10% as well who survive. I asked the doctor if the treatment can guarantee Arun’s life and here came the lines which changed my life.
Ma’ am there’s no guarantee of my life. Today if I step out of the hospital and meet an accident what will my family do? How can I guarantee your husband’s life? And he left the cabin asking to think about it.
I thought if there is no guarantee of anyone’s life. And which is an inevitable truth.What am I worrying for and suddenly it became easy to take the decision. I felt that I gained some strength. And as the doctor entered back we told him yes we are going for the treatment. And he said Good! But remember Mrs. Gupta next 6 months are really going to be tough for both of you and both will be spending most of your time here at hospital and I just Smiled.
And it was a beginning of a new journey or in a way my evolutionary journey started.
The next day doctor told me Arun is not taking his chemos as positively as he had taken before, find his motivation.
When you become positive, I found that everything was getting into place or it maybe. My way of viewing the situations had changed. We found Arun’s Motivation in ‘Win Over cancer’, the NGO we started and now it was my time to work for it full heartedly.
Be the energy you want to attract was another lesson I learned. We both channelized our energies from negative to positive i.e. from worrying about ourselves to thinking about others. It was Finding an opportunity in difficulties! We devoted all our free time in growing Win Over Cancer.
So one day during my conversation with the doctors I got aware of the problem of Breast Cancer Patients who were asked to prosthetic Bra post Mastectomy( Breast removal Procedure) but they were not able to because of the cost factor and available Cheaper options in the market were foam based. So I Provided them some Prosthetic Bras I made to patients. The nest day I was literally stabbed by Dr. Sumant.
Ma’ am ye dene se accha hai ki aap dein hi mat.
I shocked on his reaction. I said Sir relax, Kya Hua? This is the only affordable option available in the market. Then he told me a Breast Prosthesis is a patient’s medical need and not just used for the cosmetic purpose. It should have a correct weight, Hypoallergenic and should be heat resistant as well. And the foam 1 falls on all the three perimetres. And I asked So what shall we do for those patients who are not getting it and he just commented Aap hi kuch soch lo, Khaali to baithi rehti ho saara din.
This statement striked me and I kept thinking and decided to do something. From where my research started and this ended up in this indigenous self-developed breast prosthesis which passed all the required four parametres. It has a correct weight to balance the body, is hypoallergenic and heat and humidity resistant. And I decided to give it free for the needy women.
And here I felt the power of giving every time I earned a smile. I gain a unique strength to fight my own problems. You must have heard of that trick, Make a line short without erasing it, and what we do is we draw a line longer than the older one. And that exactly was what we did.
Humne Doosro ke dard ko apne dard se zaada samjha aur apna dard kam ho gaya.
Pain is inevitable, but suffering is an option.
With all this success, care, appreciations, media coverage, Awards and Television interviews, every step of it worked as an encouragement for me.
Today I can Assess myself as a balanced person who is not so happy if something good happens and neither too sad in case something bad comes up.
Being happy Doesn’t mean don’t be sad. If you feel sad about something, embrace sadness, feel like crying the cry, don’t let any feeling over power you.
I found my strength when there was no other option than being strong.
Everything which Happens has a reason and whatever happens, happens for good.
Work hard, give your 100%. But if the thing doesn’t happen then it’s just not the correct time for it. Why should we worry when God is worrying for us? And he knows better than all of us.
What if I say that the two opposites, Faith and Fear, have something in common? Please don’t say they both start with the letter ‘F’. The common thing is believing in a hypothetical situation. When you believe in a negative situation it becomes Fear and when you believe in a positive situation if becomes Faith.
So Feed your Faith so much that your fears die!!