August 24th, 2017 saw the release of an invaluable source of hope and inspiration for cancer patients everywhere – the book I Am A Survivor, written by Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy. The victorious, hopeful note struck by the book was felt by all who attended the event. The event honoured Dr. Reddy, who is responsible for the survivors’ inspiring recoveries, and also highlighted the survivors who shared their stories.
Seven-year-old Rehan kicked off the evening with a touching rendition of the song Lag Jaa Gale. Professor of English Ajanta Sircar grew emotional as she recounted learning that it’s not how much life we have that counts, it’s how we live the life we have. Dr. Reddy, who Professor Sircar credited with this teaching, followed the professor back into the audience and only returned to the stage after calming her. It was a moment that would deeply touch everyone present, including special guest V.V.S. Laxman, who pointed out that the exchange displayed a quality essential in good doctors – empathy. Each of the survivors shared tales that spotlighted Dr. Reddy’s years of experience and expertise along with his personal care and attention in acknowledging, addressing, and comforting his patients’ fears.
All the highly distinguished special guests, including Chief Guest Ms. Kavitha, MP, stressed proactive early detection because there is an 80% cure rate of cancers detected at stages I and II. Guests especially recognized Dr. Reddy’s extraordinary and continuing dedication to his patients. The most inspiring and uplifting words, however, were from Dr. Reddy himself. Cancer, he asserts, “cannot shatter hope! It cannot corrode faith! It cannot silence courage! It cannot cripple love! It cannot steal eternal life! It cannot conquer the spirit!”
Ending with a celebratory survivors’ cake-cutting, the launch of Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy’s I Am A Survivor was a wonderful, heart-warming event. The book promises to be similarly nourishing to the soul.