Kochi: The curtains fell on the fifth edition of Manorama News channel's 'Kerala Can' cancer prevention programme with a 'livathon' filled with discussions on challenges posed by COVID for cancer treatment, hopes for cure and direct evidence of survival.
After dealing with awareness, prevention, care and treatment in the first four editions, the hope that ‘survivors will lead the way’ became the motto for the fifth edition.
The fifth edition achieved its aim with the support of Believers Church Medical College, Thiruvalla, which undertook a medical mission worth Rs 50 lakh.
Health Minister K K Shailaja, eminent personalities in the field of cancer treatment and stars were the guests at the half-day-long 'livathon' that was presented by singer K S Chithra and actor Manju Warrier, the faces of the mission. While some shared the stage with the presenters, others participated in the event live from various venues.
Minister K K Shailaja, who was the chief guest, said that a large percentage of those who died of COVID had cancer. The minister said that the government was able to bring revolutionary changes in cancer treatment through the Strategic Action Plan, Cancer Registry and Family Health Centres.
Dr M V Pillai, president of the US-based International Network of Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR), shared information about the difficulties in cancer treatment and the preventive measures to be adopted during COVID.
Wayanad collector Dr Adeela Abdulla emphasised on the need for timely diagnosis and compulsory insurance cover for treatment.
Offering consolation is divine and tolerance fills people with courage and hope, said actor and advertising filmmaker Sijoy Varghese.
Dancer and actress Nandana Raveendran performed the dance version of the song 'Puthiya Pulari Varikayay' sung by Manju Warrier for ‘Kerala Can’.
Cancer expert Dr V P Gangadharan came to the 'livathon' as the magical voice of Bulbul. He performed his favourite song from the movie 'Shor'
Singer Biju Narayanan shared his memories of his late wife Sreelatha who died of cancer. Devika, the daughter of singer Radhika Tilak who passed away prematurely due to cancer, also took the stage with music and consolation.
Malabar Cancer Center director Dr Satheesan Balasubramanian, head of the oncology department at Believers Church Medical College Dr Geomcy George and cancer survivor and martial arts teacher Ashraf Gurukkal were also part of the 'livathon'.
While Neeraj George shared the story of his courage in conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa on crutches after losing his left leg to cancer, Dr Amit Vaidya, a native of Gujarat, talked about his experience of defeating the disease after a 10-year battle.
Romi Mathew, the senior coordinating editor of Manorama News, handed over the letter of thanks for the Believers Church Medical College to the hospital’s manager Fr Sijo Pandapallil, for helping with the successful completion of the fifth edition of ‘Kerala Can’.