Cancer is a disease, the treatment of which includes the painful process of chemotherapy. This treatment, while harming the cancerous cells of the body also attacks the blood platelet count. And hence chemotherapy poses threat to not only to the diseases but also to the patient to a great extent, more so to the younger patients.
At Mumbai Smiles, the HOPE project takes care of young and tiny cancer patients, by helping their families to mobilize funds, arranging for their accommodation during the treatment process and by helping them to lead normal lives post successful completion of the treatment. However, since our beneficiary list includes tiny children and adolescents, it becomes imperative to take care of their regular food and hygiene habits since they are extremely prone to infections.
Keeping this in mind, HOPE recently conducted our first individual nutrition counselling for our beneficiaries with their parents, to create awareness about which vegetables and fruits are utterly essential and which are to be strictly avoided during the various stages of cancer treatment. The morning started first with a group counselling on a general idea of food and hygiene habits that should be followed during the course of the treatment and then the personal counselling sessions began individually.
Around 13 young and small beneficiaries benefited from this session. Each of the patient’s height, weight, age and the regular diet plans (so far) was first taken into consideration along with their stage of treatment and/or recovery, before a new diet plan was issued for each of them individually. The parents were also made to understand how the diet plan was essential to their children’s smooth recovery and to be able to stay away from infections from food.
This important session was conducted in Holy Spirit Hospital, by Ms. Pooja Shah, a Clinical Dietician, Diettocure who has had specific experience of working with paediatric-onco (child cancer) patients at KEM and Wadia Hospitals. The hospital also extended their complete support with Mrs. Minal, Mrs. Sai Kumbhar and Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Rimachi, dieticians from the hospital, and we thank them for their valuable time and support to HOPE and our beneficiaries!