REEVIVE – A Hope for Cancer Patients at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai

Mumbai,India

Cancer is rampant in our country today – an estimated 2.5 million people are living with the disease and every year, over 7 lakh people are registered as new cancer patients in the country. Cancer-related deaths amount to over 5 lakhs as of 2013 national survey. Unfortunately, with Cancer, patients are often diagnosed at a very late stage, leaving them with little hope.

The word and the disease itself ‘Cancer’ causes severe emotional and financial stress.

REEVIVE aims to overcome this burden; it is this pressure of these finances that leads many to discontinue their treatments, adversely accelerating the worsening of their condition. Cancer being such a cost-intensive affair spread over an extended period can prove to be unaffordable for most of them.

But with increased awareness, timely diagnosis, and correct treatment; each Cancer patient can ‘hope’ to strive and survive. To provide this very ‘hope’ to every Cancer Fighter is the mission of REEVIVE.

REEVIVE is a unique crowdfunding online platform (www.REEVIVE.org) which aims at aiding (funding and facilitating) the medical treatment of cancer patients who need monetary assistance as well as guidance. REEVIVE is a Cancer Charity Trust (CCT) initiative, which has assisted over 500 Cancer Patients over the six years of its formation.

REEVIVE, a brainchild of renowned Oncologist, Dr. Sanket Mehta and Raj Shah, entrepreneur and real estate developer, and Ms. Riddhi Shah, co-founder, REEVIVE.org. They enlist new patients every month referred by Tata Memorial Hospital who are further screened by REEVIVE’s expert panel of doctors. This screening is to ensure that patients that need urgent treatment are addressed immediately.

Dr. Sanket Mehta, Cancer Surgeon – Head of Department of Peritoneal Surface Oncology Saifee Hospital and Co-founder of REEVIVE says, “As an Oncology surgeon, I meet many cancer patients daily. Most of these patients are between 20 to 40 years of age and belong to the lowest rungs of the society. They are often the sole breadwinners of their family. Given their social standing, they cannot afford the chemotherapy required for their cancer treatment and post-therapy care. Most of these young patients have 70% chances of survival, but with a complete lack of financial or medical support and they may not be able to. This is an unfortunate situation not only for the patient but even for their families, as they suffer – financially and emotionally.”

“The objective of REEVIVE is to assist and aid the treatment of the financially constrained Cancer Patients and offer them ‘hope’ in their fight against Cancer. However, a larger objective is to raise awareness and promote the ‘Spirit of Giving,’ for Cancer, among prospective donors. Cancer has touched everyone in some way or the other, but the presumption is that to ‘give’ for Cancer would mean tremendous contributions, but REEVIVE provides an alternative, for those who wish to give, and in a manner where everyone can contribute and yet make a difference,” said Mr. Raj Shah.

Ms. Riddhi Shah currently spearheads REEVIVE, and as an entrepreneur in the Pharmaceutical industry, she strongly feels that “At first it is the diagnosis of Cancer that weakens the patient emotionally and mentally and then it is the disease itself, weakening them physically. But the sheer thoughts of survival, family, finances demoralize the patient entirely. REEVIVE wishes to encourage the courage and the spirit of these cancer fighters and provide them the support they require.”

Within six months of its inception, REEVIVE instilled ‘hope’ and ‘spirit’ in the lives of 40+ patients and successfully raised more than Rs. 50 Lakhs.

“REEVIVE ideally plans to connect the Givers/Donors to these Cancer Fighters, in a manner that is crystal -clear, far-reaching, not-for-profit and focused. With the power of social media and the internet, we wish to spread the cause as far and wide as we can,” said Ms. Shah.

REEVIVE was formed to bridge the increasing gap between donors and patients in a more impactful manner. Tata Memorial Hospital witnesses a different scale and diversity of patients from all over the country, usually from the lower strata of the society that hopes for their treatment. Therefore, an association with Tata Memorial alone would provide many needy patients. Moreover, the cancer wing at Tata Memorial has the best infrastructure to treat these patients, and hence the donations raised would be utilized in the most appropriate fashion, and in the full interest of Cancer fightes.

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