Actor Innocent broke down only once when he was diagnosed with cancer

Actor Innocent
Innocent would often visit the cemetery at Kizhakke Palli, Irinjalakuda

There is a place where Innocent frequented whenever he felt happy or sad—the cemetery at Kizhakke Palli, Irinjalakuda. That’s where his father Thekkethala Vareethu, Mother Margaleetha, and siblings Saleena and Paulu are resting.

The actor had once said he had only cried once after being diagnosed with cancer and that was when he had to convey the news to his family who was resting at the cemetery.

The actor was diagnosed after he noticed a swelling on the tongue. Initially, the family thought it was a minor throat infection and not lymphoma.

Dr VP Gangadharan who treated the actor recalls how Innocent showed no sign of distress when he was informed about the diagnosis. The doctor also adds that it can be his ability to remain cheerful throughout the treatment that helped him recover quickly.

Innocent who always maintained that only the brave are able to crack jokes lived up to that image all through the treatment. ‘I have found a new friend. I would like to see this disease as a friend.’ He described his life after cancer as a bonus life.

Having said that the doctor was also witness to the actor’s anguish when he came to know that his wife had cancer. As a family, they always stood by each other during bad times and good times. That’s why he maintained that his wife’s cancer was something she fervently prayed for to show her love for him.

Much before he was diagnosed with cancer, the actor was a patron of the 'Alpha Pain and Palliative Clinic', which provided care and relief to cancer patients. Despite his friend's persistence, Innocent was initially reluctant to take up the responsibility in 2005. But after spending time with the cancer patients, he had a change of heart and became an active member. Innocent once said that for someone who never attended any function for free, he made it a point to spend time at Alpha during the days when there was no shooting. He visited the Gulf countries, taking time off his shooting schedule to collect funds for the organization. The actor also gratefully acknowledges the contribution of actors who attended the events without any remuneration.

‘The most important thing is that Innocent bravely told the world that he had cancer. I am aware of a lot of celebrities who are getting treatment for cancer in secrecy,” says Dr. Gangadharan.

The news of his death has been circulated many times before. But Innocent would simply laugh it off. One such day Innocent called his wife Alice and told her—“There is a piece of news being circulated about my death. Don’t be overjoyed to hear it. I am very much alive.”

Alice retorted—“People might say many such hopeful things. Do you really think I will believe all that?”

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