Dignitaries Pledge Support for CanSupport’s Annual Walk for Life

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PM’s wife to flag-off the walk on Feb 3; Rally aimed at raising cancer awareness and issues around palliative care

INDIACSR News Network

NEW DELHI:  The sixth annual Walk for Life organized by CanSupport, the pioneer in the field of palliative care that today runs the largest home-care programme for people with cancer in India, has gathered support from celebrities and personalities from public life, cinema, academics, corporates and others.

Smt. Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister, will flag off the Walk on Sunday February 3rd, on Rajpath, as she has done since its inception while prominent persons from public life, including Health Minister of Delhi, Dr. A.K. Walia ,MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian athlete Milkha Singh, KPMG Chairman Rupendra Singh, Max India Chairman Analjit Singh, Kalli Purie of the India Today Group as well as senior diplomats, members of the expatriate community in Delhi and thousands of concerned citizens are expected to participate.

The Walk for Life is a much awaited event of the Delhi calendar and has attracted a number of ordinary people from different spheres of life as well as distinguished personalities over the years, many of whom continue to be associated with the walk. Besides the PM’s wife, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Jeannie Mulford wife of the former US Ambassador to India, have been associated with the Walk, along with students, corporate executives, cancer survivors, medical professionals, caregivers, bureaucrats, expatriates and others to express their resolve to fight a disease that threatens us all today.

This year, CanSupport expects about 10,000 people to run or walk down Rajpath to show they care and to support the work the organisation does for neglected, underserved and suffering cancer patients. The 2013 Walk for Life is being supported by KPMG and Max India Foundation as the main sponsors, Aliva (Pepsi) as Co-Sponsor and India Today group as the media partner.

Last year, CanSupport raised Rs. 38 lakhs through the Walk, which is expected to increase by about 50% this time around.  Money raised by CanSupport through the Walk for Life and other fund-raising activities through the year, is utilized to sustain its programme like telephone helpline, a Day Care, peer support groups and counseling services, training of para-medical professionals, counselors and caregivers, and to operate its courses palliative care.  All CanSupport services are offered completely free of charge.

In India, cancer has become one of the four leading causes of death. Estimates from the Cancer Registry Programme of ICMR reveal that the total cancer cases are likely to go up from 979,786 cases in the year 2010 to 1,148,757 cases in the year 2020.  The age of incidence is 35-64 years, which are the most productive years.  Delhi has the highest prevalence rate in India.

Many of those afflicted are given treatments that may not help to cure or prolong their life and dignity. CanSupport provides palliative care and counseling to patients at the last stages of their lives and their families. “Unlike the west, where survivorship figures for cancer are on the rise, in India unfortunately the majority of those diagnosed become aware of their condition when the cancer has already spread and cure becomes difficult” says CanSupport founder Harmala Gupta.

Gupta, a cancer survivor herself, believes that palliative care is a neglected field in India, with the focus of government and private hospitals being on treatments that are neither appropriate nor affordable. “CanSupport helps ease the suffering and turmoil of patients and families coping with advanced illness that threatens their dignity and quality of life.” she adds.

With this Walk, CanSupport aims to create awareness about how to reduce the risk of cancer and catch it early; honour the memory of those who have succumbed to the disease and raise funds for its much valued services. The Registration Fee for the walk is Rs. 300 for individuals and Rs.150 for students with valid ID cards. Each registered participant’s kit includes a bag, T-shirt and a cap.

There are also special Pledge Forms for those who would like to raise donations for CanSupport. These can be collected in person from the office on any working day. The pledges can be of any amount.

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