NRK Battles Grief with fund of Love for Cancer-hit

Published: 05th November 2014 06:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th November 2014 06:10 AM   |  A+A-


THRISSUR: Every year the welfare office of the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, sends out a list of deserving patients to Susan Daniel Cancer Relief Fund - a registered charity in Woodland Hills, California. The Fund -- floated by US-based Keralite Mathew Daniel in memory of his wife, who succumbed to cancer -- started off on the mission with one patient and one hospital in 1985. It now offers help to 180 patients every year in four different hospitals in Kerala. For hundreds of hapless cancer patients, Mathew, who migrated to the US in the 70s, is an ordinary man with an extraordinary heart. A man who typifies a life of giving driven by conviction that no help is small to those who have little or nothing. Mathew, who lost his wife Susan to ovarian cancer around three decades ago, has been helping thousands of poor cancer patients in four cancer hospitals - Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Amala Cancer Hospital, Thrissur, Calicut Medical College Hospital, and Caritas Cancer Institute, Kottayam - for the last 29 years. The mission became more dearer for him after his daughter Sudha Daniel John succumbed to breast cancer just before her 34th birthday in 2002. Speaking to Express over phone from the US, Mathew said he took the decision to work for poor cancer patients the day his late wife was diagnosed with the disease. “Later, when my soul-mate bade goodbye to me nine months after the day, I presented the idea before a small group of Indian diaspora, who reached to take part in the memorial function of Susan. The fund in her name become a lasting tribute not only to my wife, but also my daughter who left the world a few years ago leaving her 6-year-old child with me,” he said. “Since its inception in 1985, we have made direct payments of `1.35 crore to over 2,200 cancer patients in Kerala, after organising various programmes for this purpose. The SDM has a surplus fund of over `2.25 crore for helping economically deprived cancer patients in Kerala,” said Mathew. 

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