“Treat this as a phase that will pass.”

A piece of advice from a father whose daughter is defeating cancer one day at a time.

This is the story of 5-year-old Samanvi P Kotian, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL) at Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre (KMC), Bangalore, in March 2020. Samanvi’s father, Praveen, was extremely anxious during the initial phase of the treatment. Still, after witnessing the difference the treatment and nutrition are making to his daughter’s recovery, he felt assured. He says, “We are a vegetarian family, and I was apprehensive if the diet would suffice Samanvi’s current needs. But we were counselled well by Deepa, the Nutritionist at KMC, and we now feel confident about the situation. Samanvi is on a high-protein diet, which is helping her regain the lost weight.”

Praveen also lost his job during the lockdown, and he is thankful for the Cuddles Supplement Program as it helps him provide Samanvi with a diet rich in protein, fibre, and fat. Samanvi is now 8 months into her treatment, and the nutrient-rich diet is helping her immensely. She also feels less alienated and scared of the hospital environment. Deepa, our Nutritionist at KMC, Bangalore, is extremely pleased with the change in Samanvi’s physical and mental health. She says, “Samanvi has gone from being cranky and withdrawn to being an extremely engaged child during the course of the treatment. She spends her time doing things that she enjoys, like drawing and painting. It is also nice to see her bond with the other children, and she looks out for the other children.”

Praveen is equally confident about Samanvi’s progress and now looks at Deepa as a family member. He and his family have learned and grown together through this experience, and his only piece of advice to other families like his is that to be patient and brave. “Treat this as a phase that will pass,” are his last words of assurance.

Many families like Praveen’s are finding a way to face and beat cancer in courageous ways. Your help also gives us courage. Thank you for your unconditional support.

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About Shreya Gupta

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