Yes to Life is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization staretd in 2014 and is dedicated towards breast cancer awareness; cancer screenings; and patient support – emotional, financial and rehabilitation.
Yes to Life was started by Dr. Neeti Leekha Chhabra who dealt with the disease at the age of 31 years in 2012. She was joined by Ms. Shruti Sharma who is also a breast cancer winner and got diagnosed at the same age in the same year. The team is working with the aim to contribute in lowering the mortality rate arising out of breast cancer. The founder and office bearers of Yes to Life do not charge any remuneration from the funds of the NGO, and all fundings are 100% used for the cause of the NGO.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in India and accounts for 27% of all cancers in women.
- 2000 women are diagnosed with cancer every day, and 1200 of them are unfortunately at the later stages.
- In 2017, India had the highest mortality rates globally for breast cancer.
We are working with the aim to contribute towards lowering the mortality rate arising out of breast cancer in India.Read More
We are working towards this direction in three ways –
- Breast cancer awareness talks – Working towards this aim, we take breast cancer awareness talks across corporate, schools, factories, residential societies, schools, slum area. These talks are organized free of charge. In addition to covering aspects about breast cancer such as signs & symptoms, high risk factors, screenings, self-breast exam, we also include topics such as lifestyle changes and stress management in our sessions.
- Breast cancer awareness events – We also conduct breast cancer awareness events for general public. Some of these events include 10 day awareness drive with DMRC through which we reached out to 12,000+ commuters; 2 day awareness program ‘Fifteen Frames of Courage at Select City Walk (Saket) through which we reached out to more than 500 people; Awareness program at DLF Cyber hub (Gurgaon) that had 140 volunteers who formed a human chain with placards that had survival stories & breast cancer information, followed by awareness session and fashion show by cancer champions.
- Cancer screening camps – We also conduct cancer screening camps for men and women from lower income groups. These screenings are free of charge.
In this modern era and society, it is surprising to see that many of us still look at cancer as a tabboo and if it is of the breast it becomes even more of a problem. Some women with breast cancer do not come out in open even today to share what they are going through and seek support because some others still consider cancer a stigma. There are families which do not support the patients and though rare but some are still ignorant enough to think it can spread by touching. There is a dire need to sensitize people and educate them so that there is no hindrance in the support that can be provided to those touched by the disease.
Through our awareneess and support sessions, we are working towards sensitizing the society towards accepting the news of diagnosis and supporting those affected by it.
Our support towards cancer patients is 4 fold –
- Support group and counselling – we manage a support group ‘Happiness Surrounds Us’ that currently has 120+ cancer warriors. Members provide each other with positive outlook, faith and strength to manage the phases of diagnosis, treatment and post treatment successfully and happily. Most of the members in the group are in younger age bracket. This helps resolve queries of females in the age group of 30s to 50s as their problems are usually different from those in higher age bracket.
We also provide counselling on phone and through individual meetings
- Breast cancer support events – We organize support seminars for breast cancer warriors that are relevant to actual concerns and issues that people go through on this journey. Sessions cover topics such as positive living, reconstruction, immunotherapy, fertility etc. For positive living our Chiefguest is Brahma Kumari Sister Shivani and for other topics we have eminent doctors and experts from the fraternity.
- Financial support – In our endeavour to provide support to the economically weaker section of the society, we grant financial support for treatment and diagnostic investigation to patients. We also specifically take up cases of patients who are Her2+ as no hospital provides this targeted treatment free of charge.
- Rehabilitation support – Most of the breast cancer patients have to undergo surgery and many patients loose one breast or in some cases both. The news of cancer diagnosis is devastating in itself and then to live with a distorted body shape is a life-long adjustment. The treatment also leads to hair loss which unfortunately makes the cancer journey even more painful.
We distribute free SAATHI Kits to breast cancer patients from lower income group referred directly to us by hospitals/doctors.. SAATHI Kit is an attempt to make this adjustment easier, and to try to bring a smile on the beautiful faces under-going breast cancer treatment. We are working with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, Dharamshilla Naryayna Super speciality Hospital and Max Super speciality Hospital (Shalimar Bagh) for distribution of kits.
The kit has 4 items:
1. Weighted prosthesis (artificial breast)
2. Mastectomy bra – 2 (special bra with a pocket to keep the prosthesis)
3. Head scarf
4. Earrings (to make them feel special)
"Our Three Pillars of Hope"
Yes to Life Team
Dr. Neeti Leekha ChhabraFounder
Neeti Leekha Chhabra (Ph.D.), the founder of Yes to Life is a breast cancer winner who dealt with the disease at the age of 31 years with positive attitude and strength. She is a TEDx speaker (Why Me or Wow Me) and an avid writer who writes about life, positivity, and happiness. She left her full time job as a professor to follow her passion to spread awareness and provide support to the people affected by this disease.She has started this NGO with all her heart and soul to serve and help whoever is fighting this dreaded disease. Her vision to reduce mortality rate arising from breast cancer, is her driving force. To quote her “my life after cancer has become much more beautiful and meaningful. I enjoy wind in my hair, every second spent with my son, rain on my hands and every other moment in my life now!! God has been so kind and it’s time to help others now"
Ms. Shruti SharmaVice President
Ms. Shruti Sharma is a banker turned entrepreneur and social worker who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer when she was 31 years old which proved to be a turning point in her life. This journey changed her forever, or as she says, “she rediscovered her true self which she had lost in the mad chase of professional success and money”. She was shocked to see people’s reaction to the news and realized that there are still a lot of myths associated with the disease. It is considered a death sentence and even a taboo in our society. She realized that all these thoughts and reactions was majorly due to lack of awareness which is mainly because people prefer not talking about the disease. This made her talk to people and counsel patients and care givers. Shruti now lives each day at a time, is blissfully happy and not scared to do what her heart tells her to do. She is now FULLY ALIVE
Board of Advisors
Dr. Ramesh SarinSenior Consulant
Surgical Oncology Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Sarita Vihar, New Delhi
Dr. Aditya AggarwalDirector
Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery Medanta-the Medicity Gurgaon
Dr. Col.(Retd) C S Pant, VSMMD, FICRI
Senior Consultant Radiology Col. Pant's Imaging Centre Green Park, New Delhi
Dr. S. Veda Padma PriyaSenior Consultant
Surgical Oncology Max Super Specialty Hospital Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi
Dr. Sonia MalikChairman
Southend Fertility & IVF New Delhi