Cancer is one of the dreaded diseases that have ever befallen mankind. It kills millions of people worldwide today. It doesn’t discriminate the young, old, rich or poor. It causes a lot of pain and suffering to the infected and the affected. The birth of cancer care programme came into being after seeing the pain and suffering of our fellow beings who are effected by cancer.
The cancer ward of the Peradeniaya Hospital in Kandy District, in Sri-Lanka is one of the beneficiaries of this programme. Patients from all over Sri-Lanka who are diagnosed with facial cancer come to this hospital for special surgery and treatment.
The government hospitals have limited budget for each patient. The patients, who are poor and have no money for extra expenses or special medicine or food and vitamins, have lots of problems.
In this cancer ward we have poor rural folks who come a long way from the distant remote areas for special treatment. Most of them can’t afford nutritious meals doctors recommend before treatment. They can not afford to pay for some special treatment that the government do not cover, they may not be able to buy the medication and pay for the aftercare. Some may raise funds painfully through their financially unstable families
This is the part that we come in with our programme and offer assistance. Mrs. Disayanaka has volunteered to head and manage the cancer care programme in the hospital. In describing the condition she said, There are so many cancer patients who cannot afford not only medication or after care but also nutritious meals. Some of them are malnourished and in a pathetic poor health. Doctors claim that they can’t put them into treatment before they become healthy again. Since most of the patients are poor and cannot afford the special diet before the treatment, they suffer and make it difficulty for the doctors and themselves.
At the request of Mrs. Dissanayake I visited the hospital and listened to the Doctors, Nurses and some social workers. I met many patients who were waiting for treatment. The condition of the patients were so pathetic and listening to their personal grievances made me realise that it is wise to continue this worthy course of assisting them as long as we have funds available. For now we have committed monthly assistance for a period of one year until the end of 2006.
In February 2006 we had a special case where a patient needed an artificial jawbone after his was removed because of cancerous infection. The programme was able to purchase an artificial jawbone so that he can have his original smile restored. Such good news could also bring smile to us who work so hard for such miracles to happen.
It has also come to our concern that we also need to be involved even in the small ways to brighten up their life and bring dignity back into their lives. As in many other projects, here we have a few dedicated volunteers involved in Cancer Care Program
We are happy for being involved in helping them and look forward to continually assist them. At the present moment we have established the Triple Gem Society in Sri-Lanka, which manages this programme. Triple Gem in Sri Lanka is headed by my good friend and Student the District judge of Kandy, Mr. Bandula Karunaratne.
To all who support the Triple Gem society you have made a wise choice and your contributions are going to such humane and good deeds; “May you all be well and May you all be happy.”