Message from the Patron of Indira Cancer Trust

Hon Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker, Parliament of Sri Lanka

It brings me great comfort to know that help is being given to patients with cancer and their families through the Indira Cancer Trust, which was set up after the passing away of my younger daughter Indira, on 2nd November 2016.

I never expected to see my daughter fight a battle to live, at 40 years. She was a vibrant, active mother of two young children who had a lot to live for. I was with my daughter during her last 8 days holding her hand and hoping for a miracle. Although she was given approximately 24 hours to live, she did survive for eight days, defying all logic and astonishing the medical staff of the facility. They said that her response was absolutely atypical on all counts. There were so many feelings that we faced in those 8 days and we as a family was very thankful to the doctors, nurses and other medical staff as well as each and everyone who did something, however small, to help my daughter. All these deeds mattered to a family member who was losing a loved one.

My daughter passed away peacefully with no pain and discomfort, which is what every one deserves no matter the age they depart. It was during this experience that the idea to support patients and families with Cancer was initiated. The intention in doing this was that no other parent should face the pain that I felt.

It is easy for us to give rise to depression or vent in rage at the unfairness of life when a loved one dies before their time or under tragic circumstances. However, this grief was channelled into a movement that has given hope to those in need.

A noteworthy fact is the magnitude of volunteers who have joined the force to quell the despair that threatens to rise. Their commitment is truly remarkable. My acknowledgement goes out to each and every volunteer, staff members and the trust board for their genuine effort in looking into the needs of the patients with cancer and their family members.