Awakin Calls » Dimple Parmar » Transcript
Dimple Parmar: Marrying Into Cancer -- and Finding Love
Guest: Dimple Parmar
Host: Aryae Coopersmith
Moderator: Emily Barr
Welcome to Awakin Calls. Every Saturday, we host a conversation with an individual whose inner journey inspires us and whose work is transforming our world in large and small ways. Awakin Calls are an all-volunteer-run offering of Service Space, a global platform founded on the simple principle that that by changing ourselves, we change the world, to create a more compassionate and service-oriented society. Thank you for joining us!
Aryae: Well, good morning, good afternoon and good evening. My name is Aryae and I'm really excited to be your host for our weekly Global Awakin Call. Welcome and thank you for joining us. Now the purpose of these calls is to share stories that helped plant seeds for more compassionate society while fostering our own inner transformation. And we do this by holding collective conversations with guest speakers from all walks of life, who inspires us to live in a more service-oriented way. And behind each of these calls is entire team of service based volunteers whose invisible work allows us to hold this space.
Today, our special guest speaker is Dimple Parmar. Thank you for joining our call. Let us start with a minute of silence to anchor ourselves into the space. A minute of silence, please.
Thank you and welcome again to our weekly Awakin Call, today in conversation with Dimple Parmar. As an all-volunteer offering, each Awakin Call is a conversational space that's co-created by many invisible hands. In a few minutes our moderator, Emily, will begin by engaging in an initial dialogue with our speaker, and by the top of the hour, we will roll into a Q&A and a circle of sharing where we'll invite all of your reflections and questions. Now, I've gone ahead and opened up the queue right now. So at any point you can hit star six on your phone and you'll be prompted when it's your turn to speak. You can also email us at email@example.com that's ask at service-based dot org or submit a question or comment via our webcast form, if you're listening in online via the webcast.
Now our moderator today is Emily Barr. Emily is a freelance writer whose work has been featured on DailyGood, Baltimore STYLE Magazine, No Sidebar, and Peacebeam. With a background in counseling psychology, she has a heart for connecting with others and getting to know their personal journeys. She's inspired by those who give of themselves fully and strives to find joy in life's simple pleasures and ordinary moments. She began her volunteer journey with Service Space last year, and in addition to Daily Good has also been writing for KarmaTube and for Awakin Calls. Emily, over to you.
Emily: Thank you so much, Aryae, for that wonderful introduction. And today I am honored and grateful to be moderating this call with Dimple. Dimple is the founder of the non-profit organization Love Heals Cancer based in India, which she founded after her husband lost his battle with colorectal cancer. Dimple has lived out her late husband's mission to heal with love through serving cancer patients around the world by educating them about healing options in conventional and alternative therapies, expanding the quality and length of their lives, and building communities of support among cancer patients. Dimple embodies a deep selflessness in her work and is a model of joy and compassion, even in the face of significant loss. She believes in cherishing the sacredness of each moment and accepting whatever comes with an open heart and unwavering trust. Dimple, I'm so grateful to get to talk with you this morning and learn more about your journey.
Dimple: Thank you!
Emily: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you! I'd love to get us started by hearing a little bit about your and Nitesh's story -- your late husband, and what it was like for the two of you, when you first learned that he was diagnosed with cancer?
Dimple: Sure! Good morning! Good evening, and good afternoon, everyone. First of all, thanks to Emily and Aryae and ServiceSpace and all the listeners for creating this space for everyone and giving me an opportunity to share this beautiful spiritual journey with me and my late husband Nitesh. I'm grateful for it and thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
So I would share a little bit about our story, and it started two years back, when me and Nitesh, we were studying at a business school in India, and we were normal friends in college. Not even good friends, not even close friends. And Nitesh and me, we met through a start-up conference because we both were into our own startups, and that's how we met.
He was a different person in the beginning and I had different values, so we were not really going along with each other. But that's how it begins with us. And after a few months, I got to know that he has been diagnosed with third stage colorectal cancer. So when I saw him, he was not looking good and you know things were going wrong, and I asked him, "What happened?" And he said that something is not right and I'm going to hospital. I just had my colonoscopy done and I said what's that? And you know, tomorrow I'll get my reports. So would you like to come? And since I was like, no, it's okay you carry on. And by the time he came back from hospital and then he said that okay things are not good, so I have to go back to home as soon as possible.
And I asked him what happened? And he was like, no doctor asked me to spend time with family. And I sensed that something is wrong, because he was wrapping up everything and no leaving college for two months, and then he called me in the evening, that I've been diagnosed with third stage cancer. And that was like -- my heart was howling for him, and I was like, oh my goodness, is it, I mean, is it true? I mean, is it, are you kidding me? How can it be possible that you are diagnosed with cancer? I mean a person who was following healthy lifestyle through his life. He had a very good lifestyle. I couldn't believe that, but then that was the fact for us. But he was already in different city in the evening, and I felt deep sense of compassion and empathy for him, and I asked him what can I do for you now? And that's how it began with us.
So when he was in Mumbai taking care of taking radiation therapy, I was in Calcutta at school, taking care of academics, his accomodation, shifting from hostel to guest house, and talking to professors, director, taking care of his projects, and giving him a regular updates and all those things -- that was the beginning of our journey. And when he came back to campus after two months, things were like all settled for him, and then that was the time when he had many restrictions on food and other things. So I offered that, "You can't live in Hostel now, and you can't eat regular food. So I know no one else is there for you." So then I moved in with him as a friend and I supported him in this journey, and that's how it began with me and Nitesh.
Emily: So it sounds like it was really quite a shock for you almost as much as it was for him, when he first learned that he was diagnosed?
Dimple: Yeah, when he was first diagnosed with this, I mean, he just couldn't believe, and when he messaged me that, you know, this is the report and I'm coming to meet you. And I said, I'm calling you, and he said no, I can't speak, he was crying. And he was like, it feels like the whole life is just shattered, and I don't know what to do next. We had no idea what cancer is and what's the prognosis, what are the types of treatment and it came as a shock to all of us.
And after he was diagnosed, we did some research about what are the types of treatment and other things, but it was a big shock to everyone, and even college asked him to take a one-year break and then come back. But then he said that no, I want to...he was always a very talented, very smart person who wanted to do multiple things together, and you know, he always had zeal to do something. So he was like, no that will be a big, long gap and I don't want to do that. And since I have your support, so I will continue with the education, as well as my startup, as well as the cancer treatment, which gradually changed.
So when he started with radiation therapy, and then he came back to campus, started with academics and then doctor asked him that he has to go for. surgery, which is the major surgery and he'll get a permanent colostomy. And that was again a big shock to us, especially to Nitesh, because again, he went back to his hometown and that's where doctor told him. And he was not ready to accept this. And he said that I would rather die, than getting this colostomy because it's not easy to change your lifestyle, and live with the bag, if you don't know anything about it.
And so his surgery was planned just after 7 days and he left it. He canceled his surgery. He came back to campus, and I was at campus for the -- that was a vacation time, but I had work on start-up and other things.
So I thought I'll take this break to stay back and work on that, but he came back and he said that Dimple, I don't want to go for this surgery. I'll get a permanent colostomy bag! And Nitesh was the person who doesn't, he did not like any kind of extra materialistic thing on his body - be it watch or ring or chain or anything. And he was like no, my life will be, it will get ruined and this and that. And I was like, it is just a bag. It's not a big deal! So it's about your life! And he said, okay, I'll live for five years, but I don't want this bag. Then I realized how much importance we give to these small, small things. And the person who's going through it gets a bit shocked and then gradually they understand what it is, and then there comes acceptance and after acceptance, you get to, you find a place in your life to live with the new lifestyle. So that was the case we were going through.
And when he came back to campus to discuss about all these things with me and that was the time, amazing time we had with each other, because before that there was no commitment between us. As in, we were -- I was helping him doing everything like, you know, the daily activities and cooking, cleaning, classes, making notes, everything. But he always had this -- he never showed that love and , because he restricted himself from showing, not just to me, to everyone.
And he was like a very, a person who will not show or will not acknowledge anything. So gradually then, as we started living together, and gradually, he was melting down and he started opening up and those 10 days we had during that break, it was the amazing time we had with each other. And that was the time we started spending time with nature, started talking about other aspects of looking at the treatment, going through this journey together. And that was the time we had our first date and we accepted our love for each other, and this -- our new journey started.
So he went back to Mumbai, booked another appointment for operation and he went through a successful surgery, he got a permanent colostomy. And after that, then as soon as his treatment, surgery got over, he called me that come back to Mumbai, I just can't live without you. I mean, you know, because I think he wanted to discuss a few things with me, after the surgery because it was a big change in the life for him. And our families did not know about this.
So when I went to Mumbai to visit, to his hometown and that's where I met his family and they were asking like, who is she? She left everything and came to see you and spending here seven days, and then Nitesh told me that, see this is the fact now, I have this colostomy, I have cancer and before we take another step, are you sure that you want to marry me? And I said, yeah, of course, how can this one small bag change our decision? So I'm very sure and that was the time we shared this with our families, and a new journey started. And Nitesh was in bed-rest for one and half months. So just in seven days, we came back to campus, and then in those one and half months of bed-resting, that was the time that I was completely taking care of him, for all the aspects and I felt a deep sense of gratitude a deep sense of compassion for him. And I was thanking God that thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to take care of him. Thank you so much for choosing me for Nitesh and making me a part of this beautiful journey. And that's how our journey started. So that was a shock in the beginning. But then as we were coming along with each other's support, I think it made this journey very smooth and comfortable for both of us.
Emily: I think it's amazing that you had such a deep sense of acceptance and surrender, after struggling with the initial shock of his diagnosis. But it sounds like you fairly quickly transformed that into a profound sense of gratitude and compassion for him and like you said for the opportunity to be together and to care for him. Can you speak a little bit about where that stems from, and what that was like for you to kind of make that transition from struggling with the fact that he was diagnosed with cancer, to seeing it as a chance to live more compassionately?
Dimple: So. Yeah, I think the seeds were planted in my childhood, when I was seeing my mother doing, you know, working selflessly taking care of everybody in the family, when my dad was in bed-rest for two years because of some accident. And when my both grandparents were, during their last time, they were on bed-rest, I saw my mom working tirelessly, without making any complaints, and doing every possible thing, to make them comfortable. And I was very young at that time. I used to wonder that how come she's able to do everything without making any complaints, and selflessly, she is just giving compassionately. And I learnt a lot from her, that she always kept other people's priorities first rather than thinking only about herself, and that's the beauty of her, and I learned this from her.
And when I was in my childhood, I used to spend more time with my grandfather and so my childhood was a little bit struggling, where we did not have a good education. And although I was going to school, but then there was not good facilities in the school, and I got introduced to English as a subject in class V. And although, I was always the top-performer of the school in the village, but then when we moved to the city, there was a totally different scenario, where I was even struggling to get the first division. And I had to work very hard to catch up with other students, not just catch up, but be the, because I was always the top performer. And then when we move to a different city, I wanted that too.
So I think that hard work and the seed that was planted by my grandfather and my mother -- that helped me a lot. And especially when I saw my mother doing everything for everybody, that, you know, that really gave me -- she's an inspiration for me. And I remember when my grandmother, she was in bed rest for like during her last one and half years, and I was very close to her. So she always wanted me close to her and whenever she will try to walk, through walker, she would say -- Call Dimple, I don't trust anybody else like that. I was very young at that time. Probably 14, 15 years and I was preparing for exams and board exams, I couldn't really focus on her, but then she passed away. And after that, I was just left with regret and guilt -- that why I was not able to give her the time that she was always looking for. And I cried for years, whenever I used to remember her, I used to cry and there was nothing I could do for her because she was gone. And that's the time I would say that it touched my heart very deeply, very deeply, that in my future, whenever the time comes when somebody needs me, I'll put that as my priority, so that I don't regret later on.
And when it happened with Nitesh, my priorities changed. And I had my startup then there was academics and other things, but then his treatment was the priority. So changing priorities and keeping his health and being there with him, when he was going through this phase because it was a big shock to all of us and how can I support him? How can I make him comfortable and what can I do to help him go through this journey? So and whenever I think about my grandmother, that gives me of an inspiration that okay, maybe I couldn't do it for her, but then I can do it for other people. So that's how I learned it.
Emily: So those relationships from your early childhood really stuck with you throughout your life and during this time. I wanted to go back to something you said earlier about how Nitesh really wasn't someone who was very expressive of love or how he was feeling. Did you notice that that changed after his diagnosis, and over the course of your journey together?
Dimple: Yeah, he was a completely different person at the end. When Nitesh and I first met, and we were friends, and as friendship was growing and I realized that no, he's not the person for me because he was kind of self-centered, and a person who will not share anything. I was in the initial phase of my startup and I needed help from Nitesh, because he already had experience in that. But then after asking multiple times also, I will not get that help. Then I stopped asking him and I tried to maintain distance with him. But things changed after his diagnosis and we started living together. After that it took him six months, I would say, to change a little bit once we were in a relationship.
And on the day of our convocation, which was last year April (2017), both families were there and we thought that since his treatment is also ending soon, and families are here, and we all like each other, so let's do the engagement. Because it's very difficult to gather around everyone. So that was the time our engagement happened. Nitesh was waiting for his one-year treatment to get over, and then start another thing. So he was like, okay, my focus is currently on treatment and then I used to always tell him that why don't you open up, why don't you express your love for me? Why don't share things with me, but then he was like -- my mind is blocked and I just need some time - so it took him one year, but then gradually he was changing when his treatment was getting over, in the last months April and May 2017. He was changing and changing and I was like, wow, you know, I was really happy with him. But then that happiness was there only for a couple of weeks and just after that he was diagnosed with fourth stage.
After his diagnosis, I told him that I want to marry you. Because in India, we have read in our mythology that there was a woman named Sati Savitri who married a man with one year of life left. And she said that she wants to marry him. She marries him and then God of Death comes and take him, and then she has some conversation with him and brings her husband back to life. That's a very famous story in India and I had this strong faith in God. God knew why I'm doing what I'm doing. So with that faith, I told him I want to marry you. And of course, then he got convinced and in just one day, a few hours, we got married and went to USA for advanced treatment and that's where our spiritual journey started.
When we were in US, there is a beautiful family called Karia family, a Gujarati family from Mumbai living in Los Angeles. And they're like an angel for us. I would like to name them - Parag bhaiya, Poonam didi, Purnima bhabhi, Piyush bhaiya. They came and saw us in a horrible situation. By that time Nitesh's voice was already gone, he was not able to communicate. They saw him and they were like what are you doing here? You will die in few weeks like this. Our situation was very bad at that time. They took us to their home and we were there for 4-5 months. And many others -- Buddhism group and other people, who just came forward, supported us selflessly and loved us. Nitesh, when he saw that selfless love, when he saw support coming all the way from everybody, he was a changed person. He used to cry and tell me that -- Dimple, world is so beautiful, people are wonderful. How come they are able to help us so selflessly and they are just giving giving and giving? That was the time for him, for transformation. Looking at other people's love and support he was getting transformed. He started taking care of me, practicing his skills.
We went deeper into spirituality. We were going deeper into life and death, and many other spiritual practices we were doing together. His disease was progressing, but he was very joyful from his heart, and his heart was getting better and better. And I was confused at what's happening - is he getting better or not getting better? Because his reports say something else, but then he says something else. So I believe that we don't know about the chart, but that was a healing which was taking place gradually with everyone's support and love.
We were fortunate, and we are fortunate that we received thousands of people's blessings and love in this journey. In January this year, Nitesh used to write in a diary, so he wrote that my mission for this life is - there are millions of people going through this deadly disease, so how can we give them hope? How can you serve them? And that's when we started working on Love Heals Cancer. He worked for a few weeks. And then in February, I told him (I used to call him Babu in a loving way) -- Babu, you are a very pure kind soul. I can see today. I can see the whole lot of transformation that has been happening within you, because I know you from last two years and before even we were friends, and you are a very different person today and I'm scared that how can a human being be so pure and so selfless, the way you are today? I believe that was his time to go. Yeah, and just few days after that he was in ICU.
Emily: Yeah, that's such a beautiful mission. And I'm amazed that he was able to have that openness and wanting to give back even as you say his disease was progressing. It's really incredible to open yourself up to giving back to others when you're going through such an intense personal struggle .
Aryae: Emily, I just like to get in here a second and remind everyone who's listening on the call that at any point you've got a question or a comment and you'd like to get in the queue, you can dial *6. You'll be in the queue or you can submit your question or comment via firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily: Terrific, thank you. So Dimple, I was wondering if you could speak a little bit more about the lifestyle changes that you and Nitesh started incorporating over the course of his diagnosis. I know you made some changes around his diet and exercise and meditation. Can you speak a little bit more about those changes you made and maybe what you learned from making those changes?
Dimple: Yeah, of course! When we were going through this journey, we met many survivors, who survived 4th stage of cancer with lifestyle choices they made. I used to wonder that why people are able to survive when we are not, and he did not have much time by that time. So it was the last year November (2017) when I met a couple of survivors and they told me all the things which they tried, and they also told me that there are multiple choices in healing and it's incurable for Nitesh. Still you are going for the conventional therapies, which is incurable. No one is giving you any guarantee and disease is progressing. What's holding you back? There was a lot of pressure on me to decide this. Because his reports were coming bad and his physical body was also, I would say, giving up because any small changes we would make and then again body would react in some other way. And then every 15 days, chemotherapy and the trial (treatment), which he was a part of. It was like we are in a Race Against Time and there was absolutely no time to do experiment! And here the survivors are telling me -- Dimple do this, do this. Here Nitesh is telling me -- I can't do everything together. So it was very difficult for me to explain to Nitesh the urgency of the situation and on the other hand, I did not want to scare him with "this will happen, that will happen" like that.
But then gradually we made those changes. He started becoming vegan and then we started doing meditation. We started doing chanting. We started going out and doing some yoga or walking. But I think by the time we started all these things he just had one and half to 2 months left. We did not know that although. But whenever he will try (last two months), he gave his best. I mean there was nothing else which he could do to make it happen. But all I would say is that he tried his best and so there are, I would say, that there are seven choices in healing like — eating well, moving more, sleeping well, creating healthy environment, reducing stress and exploring what matters now. It's like -- okay, whatever has happened, has happened. But what is the thing which matters to you?
So gradually we said -- one habit, then another, then another, and then his chemo day will come -- so it was all, for him, it was very difficult, because of course, his body was too fragile. But still he was trying his best possible that he could do, and I could see when, maybe because of those things which he was trying, he was getting better and better in last 2 months, where he was not -- mentally, he was not struggling with the disease, mentally, he was not suffering -- because his heart was full of joy. And he would call his friends to visit us, maybe go out and maybe spend time at the beach or Temple or Buddhism Center or many other places.
And I remember -- it was the fourteenth of February, that was Valentine's Day, and he was like not able to get up from the bed, but he said that I want to celebrate. I was like, are you kidding me? You're not able to get up from the bed! And he was like no, I want to. So he was, every occasion, be it friend’s visit, or my birthday, or Valentine's Day, or any other thing -- he will say that let's celebrate it! So he wanted to make each and every moment very special.
And probably because of the heating practises, we were doing it together, the spiritual journey we were walking on, that was changing him, that was -- I mean he was calm and happy at his heart and I mean then things were going really good. So I was so confident that he will come back, he will recover out of it, but then all of a sudden, it just changed in four days and we did not see that coming, because it was not the cancer which took him, it was the fungus which he caught. I don't know from where but then doctors are not able to identify why and from where he got fungus. It was the fungus which just congested his lungs and he ended up going to ICU.
Otherwise, things were going perfectly well and we were so happy that finally after two years, we are on the right track doing these healing practices and we have a fixed schedule and we are able to follow it everyday. And in February, we also decided that we are not going for conventional treatment. I wrote a letter to his doctors and the same day I wrote this letter, the same day, evening, he was in the ICU.
So when we talk about healing practices, it includes like mind-based wellness, meditation, spiritual practices, diet and metabolic approaches, energy therapies, Reiki, acupuncture, traditional medicine, which is Chinese medicine, so there are many choices in healing. Now it's up to the individual what choices they want to go for, based on their lifestyle, based on what is available to them.
So because when it comes to incurable disease or chronic illnesses, from which do not have any cure, so when it's terrible now, what can we do? What can we do to heal the body and that's where we move from from mainstream therapies to finding the balance between mainstream and complementary therapies and also exploring the emotional and spiritual dimension of disease and that is what we were doing within the last few months.
Emily: I'm listening to you share. I'm really in awe of all, of both inner and outer transformations that were occurring for both of you during this time, and one that really stands out to me that you mentioned is the ability to focus on what matters now and trying to stay in the moment and accept whatever comes as it comes. Can you talk a little bit about how you developed that over the course of your journey with Nitesh? And also how you continue to incorporate that in your life today?
Dimple: Yeah, yeah, so me and Nitesh were both already the kind of person who will always the plan for -- what five years from now, or 10 years from now? And we'll plan everything in advance. And even for his treatment, after fourth stage diagnosis, we planned many things -- okay, we did fundraising, went to US, we contacted all our contacts and we did every possible thing in the world to save him.
But then it could not work out. And when he was going through third stage journey, we were into multiple things. We both had our startups then, we both had academics and the treatment was also going on. So I think because of too many things...in the treatment part, in the third stage, we left completely in the hands of doctors, that they are taking care of it, so we'll focus on academics and startups. But that was also not happening, and after six, seven months, we had to shut down our startup, so I mean, that's the way...
If I have to go back and change one thing, I would focus on treatment completely first rather than getting the degree. I have his degree now with me, which is of no value. Doing multiple things together. After his 4th stage, when we did not have much time, when we were running against the time, that’s the time we realised that we should focus on what matters now. It’s a lesson learnt in a very hard way but then at the end when time was literally running away, those 23 days in ICU -- the only thing which was coming to my mind was what can I do right now to help him when he was literally struggling for his breath. There were few things which I tried in the hospital. The doctors were so kind to allow me to give him all the complementary things which I wanted to try on him, and in ICU they said, “Ok, you can do that.” So I would say that when we are going through such a disease, and things which require immediate attention, we shouldn’t take it lightly and do multiple things together -- rather we should completely focus on the treatment. This is the lesson I learnt from this journey.
It’s a very beautiful thing you ask, that how do I practice in my everyday life. Recently, I was in a different city, Delhi and I was about to start with my work with a cancer hospital, but my heart was telling me that, "Dimple, take this 4 months break and go deeper into these things. Do some inner exploration. Take some time off, just sit in silence, and work on the things which you really want to work on." And I was not able to decide what to do. I said, ok, I will go to Gandhi Ashram, where I am today after 4 months. There was literally a struggle going on between extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation and then I asked just one question to my heart that, "What if you don't have 3 months? Then what would you do today?" And the answer was very clear that just do what you want to do. Go to Gandhi Ashram, explore things, go deeper into healing practices, and help people.
This is how I practice this, and another thing which happened was that my mom came to visit me for 2 days last week and her plan was to only be here for 2 days and I saw that she was struggling with her routine exercises and other things and when I asked her she said that she's been having some back problems from last 4 years and now it is getting worse. I said okay, let's go to a physiotherapist. When we went there and did the MRI, we found out that it's a Grade 2 problem, and if reaches Grade 3, then she might even get paralyzed. And I was like, "Oh! My goodness! I did not see this coming, but then again I went back to this-- "what matters now?". This problem has come and what matters is how can I now make her comfortable, what can I do so that it doesn't get worse. That's the way I am incorporating these practices in my daily life.
I just ask my heart this one thing, "What if this is your last day?" There is one beautiful line which I learned or heard from a very old man that, "Live as if it is your last day and whenever you are sleeping, sleep as if you are dying, and then every day is a new birth. Every day is a rebirth." That's the way I'm doing it now.
Emily: Thank you so much for sharing more about what I think is a really powerful lesson learned and often a hard one for most of us to incorporate day to day. I wanted to make sure we got time to hear more about your organization -- Love Heals Cancer. So can you tell us a little bit about the basic foundation and what are some of your main goals?
Dimple: Love Heals Cancer.. as the name says it's LOVE which is healing. And no matter what therapies you are doing, no matter what you are doing, it depends upon how you are doing it. It depends upon the person who is with you or who is giving you these therapies, these treatments; how much faith, confidence, and trust you have in that person. We believe that can only be earned with love and compassion. It was the same thing with Nitesh. He was a transformed person when he received so much love from everyone -- from me, from people, friends, family, nature, universe, God, and then he was a changed person. Love can do miracles and that's where we, me and Nitesh, thought of how can we create something like this and then a beautiful name came -- Love Heals Cancer.
We got to know about these other choices in healing, very late, when he had two or three months left. We usually don't talk beyond the conventional options when incurable diseases like cancer and other illnesses happen. What can we do now for healing? Here our goal is to help participants as much as possible live a longer life. We help them by finding a balance between mainstream and complementary therapies, and also exploring emotional and spiritual dimensions of this disease and discovering that this disease, which teaches you a very big lesson, can lead to a richer and fuller life.
So we can say that Nitesh could not survive physically, but then we can also say that he healed himself and that it's not about how much you live, it's about the way you live. The way he lived his last eight months of fourth stage, that was just amazing. In just eight months, he finished all his curriculum. Whatever things he wanted to do, he did everything. At the end, he was a transformed person who just wanted to serve. As we learned in our meditation retreat, it's the Buddha's teaching that this kind of state in which your mind is during the last time when you're passing away -- that's the brainchild for the next birth. I'm so glad that he was in that state of mind where he just wanted to give love and serve people.
That's where we thought about -- helping other people navigating through the choices in healing, and explaining to them what these choices are, the diet and metabolic approaches, healing of body, mind, and soul. Once you know the options, then you take control of your own healing of your own body, that you know these things exist, and you just need to make these choices. We work with patients helping them in deciding their choices, giving them all the options, and also navigating them through it.
Recently we have started healing circles in India, inspired by Michael Lerner who is running Commonweal in California. Michael has been doing healing circles for the last 20 years and we are very grateful that he's supporting our work in India. In healing circles, patients, caregivers, volunteers, they all come together, sit in silence for some time, and then share. We listen to each other, we respect each other's therapies. They just open their heart and share whatever they want to share. It's a healing process for everybody. This is what we have started recently and we visit hospitals and places where cancer patients live, doing counseling for them, activities like clowning or giving them surprise gifts, making surprise visits, or sending them gift cards. We did this joy-kit for our kids campaign here. We made a beautiful small kit for small kids who are going through this disease, with sketch drawing sessions, all these things, just having quality time with them.
Recently a beautiful thing happened where I visited the Indian Institute of Public Health in Ahmedabad and they have started this new course -- Quality of Life. Doctors usually do not talk about healing and alternative -- I would say complementary -- therapies, but it's changing now. I would say that love, compassion, and healing are important aspects of holistic treatment. We said let's combine everything together and heal the body. So I showed them the things which I'm working on and they just loved it. They said that in the ‘Quality of Life’ course they are doing everything; the head part is there which is the theoretical knowledge about the choices in healing, the practical part is there, but heart is missing here. Love and compassion and sharing support with others is what is missing here. "So how about you coming to the institute and teaching doctors about love and compassion?" I was like, wow, that's amazing that I'll be teaching! I'll be having a session with doctors about love and compassion! I gave an introductory talk yesterday and they just loved it. Doctors told faculty, "Ma’am, call her again." That was a very joyful moment for me that we are able to talk openly about healing with love and this is what we are doing at Love heals cancer.
Emily: I think that's incredible. I think it's so beautiful that the organization and the doctors that you have worked with have been so receptive to that because I think you're right; the love and compassion is often the missing piece in our healthcare. For you to be working so hard and with so much commitment and energy to incorporate that more, I think, is really amazing.
Dimple: Thank you. One more thing I would like to add here. Sometimes there can be questions like how can love heal cancer? How can acupuncture or Chinese medicine? Whatever we are talking here, that Love heals cancer, this therapy, that therapy, everything has been backed up by scientific evidence. That's the beauty of it. What is science telling about it? There's research going on about all of these choices of healing, how this healing will help the cancer patient -- be it 20 percent or 80 percent -- but it does help. Whatever choices we are talking about, they all have scientific facts and evidence, so that the credibility comes and we take it seriously. Especially when you have a few months left, we are ready to try anything and everything, but it should not be amiss. So how can we make that fine balance?
We have categorized this into two parts. One is early detection and prevention of disease, what lifestyle choices we can make today -- even people who do not have any disease -- small changes we can make today in our daily practices, so that we don't get any disease. Second is if we do get a disease, then what choices can we make to heal the body? That's where the holistic healing takes place, which includes mainstream, complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. In the third case, which is not in our control, if nothing works at the end, then this is your time to go, then how to accept the reality of mortality, death, to gracefully and peacefully die.
This is where I'm exploring a lot and the more I'm going deeper into this, the more I feel connected to Nitesh. This is a very beautiful concept, but in our society, we don't really talk about it and often death is considered as failure. It is feels like okay, you're talking about death, it means you're giving up. That's not the case. Sometimes talking about death can be a big change in your recovery and can reverse the whole process. This is the one thing, if given an opportunity, I would like to change, because me and Nitish never talked about death. I had this notion that he is completely trusting me. Whatever I'm saying, he is completely depending on me. If I talk about death then he will feel like I'm giving up. It means there is no hope. Even during those last days in the ICU, when doctors were telling me "Dimple, we are were giving him last sedation breaks. Do you want to tell your husband that he is dying? What do you want to tell him in the last moments?" I told the doctor that no, I don't want to have this ‘death’ conversation with him because the slightest hope of recovery he has, he will lose that.
We can't change what happened, but yesterday I wrote that there are seven critical aspects of looking at death. There are many ways to approach this, so I'm working on that and helping patients go through that phase peacefully. Today it's ‘World Hospice Day’. I visited this hospice center in Gujarat and had a good conversation with patients. Last week in healing circles we had our patient Ekta. She's a very young girl, 24 years old with blood cancer and she's going for transplant next month. We talked about death. I asked her, "How are you feeling? Are you scared of death?" That girl told me a very beautiful line: "Dimple, I have thought about it and I don't fear death, but I do worry that my dad will not be able to take it if I die." I was very happy to hear that she's not scared of death, that she's ready to even face that situation, and that she's worried for her family. This is the third dimension, where I'm working on talking more openly about death with the family, patients, and caregivers.
Emily: I know that volunteers play a large role in your organization. Can you speak a little bit about their role?
Dimple: It's a completely volunteering-based organization. I would say it is a project like ServiceSpace. There are a lot of patients coming so the volunteers help patients to go through the website because not everybody is very comfortable with the technology and website so they help them navigate through it, giving them informational help, which is needed. Sometimes we do a surprise visit with the volunteers to the hospitals and do clowning with them. Even if one is able to give quality time to the patient, just holding some space to listen to them, that's is also very healing practice which we do. It's called listening therapy. Volunteers do take part in these activities and they connect patients with the right people or whatever help they need, be it different therapies or healers, Ayurveda or yoga or whatever things they want. Because there are many choices in healing; the volunteers connect them as per there need, to the right people. They make home visits. We send gifts to the patients and in healing circles they participate, making the space more comfortable and writing about the healing circle, making notes and sharing it with the patients. They also follow practices like yoga, meditation.
We sometimes organise events where volunteers go to patients home and do these activities such as storytelling, sending cards and inspirational quotes to people. We even have volunteers for online and offline, both kinds of activities, whichever they're comfortable with. So it is a good support of volunteers. We are all volunteers trying to do a little bit to help each other and that's our motto ‘to touch people's hearts’ and I would say that the only thing which I remember from this whole experience with Nitesh and other people is the way other people helped us and that's what left a deep impression on my heart. Nitesh was super intelligent, talented, smart person, but only thing which I really, really remember and admire about him is that all he wanted to do was to serve people. As Mother Teresa said that we cannot do great things, only small things with great love so our volunteers are also trying to do little things to help, make them comfortable by serving.
Emily: I'm curious about the transformation that you witness among the patients that you work with through your foundation. Are you seeing them open up with greater acceptance and surrender the way that you and Nitesh were able to over the course of his disease. Is that something that you think happens a lot with the patients that you're working with?
Dimple: So if I go to the question correctly, you're telling that the way we surrendered to the disease and we surrendered to the causes, am I looking the same way other patients as well - is it right?
Emily: Yeah, if they're, if the patients that you're working with are able to express that surrender and acceptance of the disease over the course of your work with them in the same way that you and Nitesh came to accept and surrender when he was diagnosed?
Dimple: So it is the case with some of the patients, but not all of the patients because it is an individual journey and their own experience and the kind of environment they are in, the kind of love and support they are receiving from people. So it's not the case with everybody because surrendering it comes from the heart, and it's a gradual process. So how you take this disease, how you learn, what you learn from it, is important.
What happened with us was that we never planned to surrender. We did not even know what does surrender even mean at that time. But then as we were going through this journey it just happened automatically and for me the movement of actual surrender was on 12 March, 2 days before Nitesh passed away. His midnight reports were very good and his vitals and blood reports were normal and his liver was coming back to normal, and the problem was only with his lungs, and I was waiting for that report. That was a miracle for me -- when I saw that, I was like dancing in joy, giving hugs to doctors, telling thank you to everyone, saying now he will recover because the report was coming back to normal.
And following morning, after few hours, due to some manual intervention, his heart stopped. I was telling the person that -- please stop it, he is not comfortable. He was in deep sleep under sedation and pain killers. But he was not stopping and I was like, I know my husband very well; even though he's not reacting, I can see some sense of discomfort. So, can you please stop it? And he did not stop it . I told him six times; at the end of the third minute, Nitesh's heart beat came down from 130 to 40 and then all alarms started beeping and nurses came and he's dying and I told them to do something!
And they were like, “Do something? You signed a DNR, do not resuscitate, so we will not bring him back.” And I was like, I just went out of control. I had no one there, because it was like morning, early morning 7 o'clock, and I didn't know what to do, and his heart came to 0 and he was dead, and I had that hope because his reports were good and this cannot happen. And I kept saying that do anything possible to bring him back and I had no other option.
I thought maybe this is the testing time for me. God is taking my exam. So whatever things came to my mind I responded likewise. They asked me if they should give compressor shocking and I said no, and then they said they will have to give him medicine to bring him back, which is a very invasive process and I said, “Do it.” They brought him back. His heart beat came at 190, but then the whole medical staff, doctors, all very angry at me and they were shouting at me that -- you are torturing your husband, you are treating yourself and you're not treating him. And after that I just couldn't see at Nitesh because there were more tubes in his mouth. They were doing multiple things they did on him to bring him back. And I was like, what am I doing? For what hope I'm waiting for? What's that miracle that I am waiting for it? If miracle has to happen, then it will happen anyway, why am I troubling him? I am really troubling him, and those words really went deep into my heart, and I cried my heart open, which I did not in last 20 days.
And I was like if really that has to happen, if he has to survive, then he will survive. So that was the time for me to accept the reality of mortality and I surrendered. My prayers changed from his recovery to his peace and comfort, wherever it is, and that was the time for me when I accepted that wherever he is, peace and comfort stays with him whether he is here in his physical form or in spirit form. He should be at peace and comfort, he should be happy. And after two days, on 14th march, in a very peaceful way, he passed away.
A beautiful thing happened in ICU, which I would like to share, because that's very close to my heart and that’s what is holding me till now. In his first week of ICU, he writes to me that I saw the golden bright light of God, and he was not in human form. And he's telling me that the way we see God in pictures and statues -- God is not like that . He doesn't have any shape and I saw that Golden Light Of God. He could not speak, but he was writing it to me and that statement was very strong statement and it touched my heart. A devotee comes and she says that, “God will come again.” And I got scared and asked myself why will God come again, to take him? Those 23 days it was me, Nitesh and God. No one else mattered for me and I had this faith that if God comes again, I will get to know. And on 14th March, I get another message from another devotee that I was doing deep meditation and I saw God holding Nitesh's hand, so don't worry he'll be completely fine now. You take some rest. And I knew what's going on. And in just one minute of that message, Nitesh started passing away and he was with God.
So here the only thing which I want to say is: it's a very beautiful spiritual experience which I had with Nitesh. I would say that more than love there is some special connection with him and that's where we talk about surrendering. I surrender to that higher power. We planned enough. We did every possible thing. But ultimately it's you who is doing it. So why don't I surrender to you? And the movement I surrendered, after Nitesh passed away, the way things are happening, the way I'm taking our mission forward and able to help in any little way possible to other people, it is just amazing. The way things are unfolding for me and I can feel Nitesh’s strong presence more than his absence. I feel his presence here with me. So yeah, I mean, I'm grateful for it all and surrendering is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. I'm still in the process of it.
Aryae: Wow, what amazing inspiration and amazing stories and reflections? Thank you so much Dimple and thank you so much Emily. So here is a question via email from Shyam which says: “Why do we love a person more, when we know that he or she is going to pass away. Is it compassion or is it sympathy?” How do you respond to that, Dimple?
Dimple: Thank you so much for asking this question and that's very thoughtful and meaningful. So when we know that the person is going through some difficult phase. I would not call it a person is passing away because we don't know what's going to happen next. But when Nitesh was going to this phase I knew that he was going through so many things together -- physical pain, mental shock and other things in parallel to it, so more than sympathy, that was compassion and empathy for him that what can I do to help in his needs. Similarly I would say the experience which I had with him, and before that the experience that I had with my grandmother, where I was not there for her when she wanted me, when she needed me, that changed my heart. When Nitesh was going through this, I was reminded of my grandmother and I said, okay, I will help him because that time we were like normal friends and that's how it started with us and during that journey, we fell in love.
So it was not sympathy for Nitesh because he was already very independent and a person who can handle all these things and he was anyway doing it. So some or other way, he will find for it, but then more than that, it was my compassion for him, because I was getting an opportunity to serve him. And similarly two days back, what happened with my mother, that she got some problem in her back and which can lead to paralysis, we don’t know. So I was like, okay, what's the urgency of the situation. What can I do to help her today? She's not dying. She's absolutely normal and it’s just a problem in the spine. So I would say what matters now is taking care of her. What mattered then was taking care of Nitesh, and that comes with the deep sense of compassion and gratitude for everything. And when my mom says that I'm sorry. I'm troubling you in this time when you wanted some alone time and work on your own things. And I said no Mom, I feel so good. I feel blessed that...we are four siblings. I feel so blessed that I'm able to do some little things for you. So it's an opportunity for me, not for you. So yeah, that will be my answer for your question.
Aryae: Thank you. Yes, so we have a caller who has had some quite a bit of experience himself with cancer and healing.
Kozo: Hello, Dimple, this is Kozo. It's great to hear your voice. I have a question for loved ones and caregivers. What did you learn about taking care of yourself, on this while you're walking somebody else through this healing journey and and I'm particularly interested in how you took care of yourself. Not only during Nitesh's journey, but also after. You know, you just told that beautiful story of his passing and your surrender. Did you do anything after to take care of yourself, after Nitesh was no longer on in bodily form?
Dimple: Thank you so much Kozo, for asking this and no one can better understand the caregiver part then you because you have doing this amazing job of taking care of other cancer patients. So thank you for asking this. After he passed away, I took some time to come out of it and then I was thinking like okay what next? What can I do now to keep our mission moving forward and that's the way for me to keep Nitesh alive by doing this work, and as I started going deeper in these things and I also felt that when I talk about healing, it's just not the healing of patient, it is healing of everybody. So what can I do for myself, so that I'm able to help other people and that's where as I said -- seven healing practices.
So these seven healing practices applies on everybody and anybody. It's like eating well, moving, no stress, creating healthy environment and what matters now -- so these are the things I'm working on. I went for a Meditation Retreat called Vipassana for 10 days in silence, and I'm doing my yoga and meditation very regularly and taking care of my diet too, because now that I'm working with cancer patients, and I believe that if I'm not following it, then I will not be able to tell them to not to do it. So for that cause, I should follow these things. So because of them, I'm able to take care of myself and I should be thankful to all those people for keeping me healthy and intact with my own ritual. So I'm taking care of myself by doing these things like morning two hours I spent in nature, with books, doing meditation, chanting. Thank you for asking this.
Kozo: Yeah. I'm curious when you did the 10-day Vipassana, what arose in you during that 10 day, after Nitesh's passing away. Was it an easy sit or did you feel that you had some difficult sits? Can you kind of expand on that -- what that 10 days was like?
Dimple: That was very special 10 days for me, because in the initial few days I was already working on this project, so there were lot of things to do. So all those thoughts were coming and going, coming and going and that was the time I recently moved to India. So that one month I was like kind of not stable, I was packing and all those things, and on fourth day, a strange and very good feeling I felt in my body, and I don't know how much you'll be able to relate, but that was him. And I asked him where were you all this time? And he said where were you? You were busy and that's why you did not interact with me and I'm always in your heart. So whenever you call my name, you'll find me there in front of you. I was getting goosebumps and had very strange and very good feeling. I was like, oh my God, he's here and the statement which he told me that I will always be here in your heart and let me help you focus on your body. Let me help you in doing Anapana. And then again he went back and he came out, and that's the way things are happening.
So I think those 10 days was the time when I again got connected to Nitesh, and after I came out and I met a spiritual person, and he knew about this journey, and he is a very old person and when he got to know about this, he was in tears. He said that, “Dimple do you know where is Nitesh?” I said to myself, “Okay, this is an open question. How can I tell him that I feel he's in my heart and I really feel that.” So he was like he's in your heart and again, I was like, oh my God. No, he just told me this! And I think that was a very strong feeling, a strong experience for me that again left a deep mark on my heart -- that he is here with me all the time. And that's why I said that I feel his presence and the way things are happening now, it's all him guiding me on this path. So before it was two bodies and one soul and now it's like two soul and one body.
Aryae: Great. Thank you. We have another question that came in by email. This is from Ravnish in New Delhi who asks, "Do you provide face-to-face consult in Delhi and Mumbai? If so where can we get contact details and address?” And if there is anything you would like us to send to people afterwards, we can do that.
Dimple: Yes, we do that. Whenever our volunteers are in the same town as the patient, we try to meet them in person and then talking these things with them. And if we are not in the same city, then we do audio and video calls. On the website, lovehealscancer.org, there is a section called contact us, so you can write to us and we will definitely get back to you within 24 hours, because we know the urgency of situations like this and it's all based on the whole feeling of love and compassion. We do have volunteers in Delhi and Mumbai, in both places, so let us know and they will definitely come to the patient's place and help them personally. Thank you.
Aryae: Wow! Great answer. Thank you. So here is our next caller.
Gayathri: Hi Dimple, this is Gayathri. I am calling from Chennai, in India. Thank you! First of all, I just wanted to say it's such a privilege to hear you share so vulnerably. Such an amazing call. I have two questions for you. One question is about how you met the Karia family, Parag bhaiya? Because I think they completely changed your life trajectory, your orientation. That's one question and if I understand it right, I think Parag bhaiya connected you to Nipun, so just maybe you could tell us about that connection.
My second question to you is, I was curious about what personal spiritual practices that you and Nitesh were adopting as a couple, because if I heard this right, you said that he had this vision of God being a divine light, golden light, and then some people texted you about some similar sort of vision, so are they all following one particular type of practice and maybe you could tell us about that?
Dimple: Sure. Thank you, Gayathri. So we, me and Nitesh, are alumni of IIM Calcutta. Our alumni Vinayak Lohani who is running an NGO called Parivaar to help underprivileged children in Calcutta, I knew him personally. When we were in the US, through our alumni network, he got to know that Dimple and Nitesh are in US, alone and kind of struggling with the things. He asked Parag bhaiya that, "Can you please go and check how are they doing? and Parag Karia, (and his family) they are very, I would say, like people in this space of service, helping others selflessly in a very loving way. He has an NGO in US called Arpan. Arpan and Vinayak Lohani's NGO Parivaar both are connected. So Parag bhaiya came and then they saw us and they were like, "This is not the situation you should be in. So come to our home.” And we were there with them for 4-5 months. They are like angels to us. Without them, we couldn't have survived in the US and would have come back to India long back. It was them, their support, their love. They even kept us, me and Nitesh, as a priority over their own children. Whatever things Nitesh wanted, whatever things were needed to make him comfortable, they did every possible thing and in this whole journey with Nitesh, I would say even our families do not know as much about us, as the Karia family does, because they were with us day and night in that journey.
I am really grateful to the whole Karia family. Thank you so much. When I was leaving US and coming back to India, I told Parag bhaiya that, "Bhaiya, I am going to India and I want to do something to help cancer patients. That was mine and Nitesh's vision, but I don't know what to do and how to do, but we will see." And bhaiya said that, "Since now you are moving in this direction, why don't you connect with Nipun?" And I was like, "Who is Nipun?" We talked about so many things, but we never talked about Nipun and that's the way it started. I then researched about ServiceSpace and I sent an email to Nipun. We had an amazing 3-hours conversation, and that changed everything for me. I got a direction how to move forward and what all I can do. Even though I wanted to serve, but there was a baggage, there was a burden like how to do, what to do, and all those things. He just made it so easy for me, so convenient for me. He connected me with many people who are in this healing space, who are running organizations to help other cancer patients. So I would say that's my life 2.0 which started with Karia family and Service Space. So thank you!
And, your second question was about my practices. So, when I and Nitesh were walking on this spiritual journey... for me, the definition of spirituality has changed completely -- it's about whatever little things we are able to do to make ourselves and other people happy or able to serve, that is spirituality. When me and Nitesh, we started sharing everything with each other, we started doing meditation, reading about life and death, even knowing that death is also a part of spirituality. There is a book called 'Unlocking the mysteries of Birth and Death'. When I read the book, I asked Nitesh to read the book and when he read it, he underlined everything and after his death, when I read it again, I was so happy that Nitesh could read that book because it explained...and there is one more book, 'Between death and life'.
These were the practices which we were doing -- meditation, chanting, prayers, walking, yoga, and most importantly all we wanted to do was help people, to serve people. Though his disease was getting worse, he was on bed-rest, he wanted to serve people. And he said, "What can I do? I can work on the website. So let me create a website for people." Even in the last 23 days in ICU, when he was on deathbed, he wrote to me. I have all those papers with me. It's like a treasure for me. He writes to me that, "Dimple, I don't know if it is a hallucination or my imagination (and he asked the doctor also) but I'm having dreams or visions of me and you helping people, helping nature, saving nature, helping animals... many other things he wrote. And I was like, "Wow!"; even at that time, he was praying for others. He was like what can I do when I'm in ICU? I can definitely pray for the people who are praying for me and others. So that was the spirituality for us.
People who had visions, I would say, maybe our practices were different, but only common similarity was that we were a part of one spiritual group -- so they had their own practices, we had our own practices. We were worshipping not one God in particular, but all the practices that we were doing in general. Since they knew what was going on with us, they came to the hospital to visit us and she said that "When I was doing meditation when I was doing this God's prayer, I saw this vision." That was Shiv-ji. The two devotees, they both are different but they follow one spiritual guru, which is Shiv-ji -- so that's what happened with us. Spiritual practices, I would say is believing and giving. Believing in surrendering and giving whenever we get an opportunity to give. So that's spirituality for me.
Aryae: That's great. Thank you Dimple and thank you, Gayathri. Emily, we just got a couple of minutes left, I want to ask you if you have an additional question or two.
Emily: I do. Thank you so much, Aryae. So Dimple, connected to what you were just speaking about with your and Nitesh's spiritual journey and how that emerged, I know that when I was learning about you preparing for this interview, you had said that when we serve others, we are really serving a higher power. It sounds like that's been an important teacher for you. And I was wondering if you could speak more about that, and what that looks like when you are in service?
Dimple: The kind of work we are doing where I have to talk with lots of cancer patients and most of them are in the last stage and whatever little things we do to make them comfortable, when we do counseling for them, they get so happy, they feel blessed. The whole environment becomes [charged] like we both will have tears, tears of gratitude and tears of just being there and holding that space. Just by doing these little things if we are able to make someone happy and if we are able to help someone in need which is a lot for them, then I believe [we are serving a higher power]. The smile, the joy that I see on their face, that reminds me of Nitesh; that reminds me that we all are a part of one higher power in different different forms and ultimately it is the soul which matters because body remains here.
The satisfaction which I receive by serving other people, I always say that I am selfish for that satisfaction. The more you serve, the more you receive. That joy of the feeling when you receive something, I am selfish for that joy When I serve someone when I am able to help someone in need, the blessings which they give -- that's everything for me. People are my motivation force and they say that I am inspiring them but I say that "No, it's you who is inspiring me."
Like, today, on World Hospice Day, we had a session with Colostomy patients. Since Nitesh had the stoma bag, I was one of the panelists for the Gujarat Cancer Society and all I did was share my story with Colostomy with Nitesh. I just shared how your partner, your spouse is making this stoma bag comfortable for you, that matters a lot. Anyway, this (the stoma bag) was a shock for Nitesh and then I gradually made him comfortable; started cleaning his bag whenever there was a leakage or any other thing. Even when it was stinking, I never ever showed him that it is smelling bad, because I knew it is part of the journey and gradually we both will accept this and it will part of our everyday activities so it will be a part of our lifestyle.
But when I shared this with them -- the patients and caregivers -- on this line that family support, your partner's support matters a lot and that you should all thank your partners like "thank you for making it easy and convenient for us.", they all stood up and clapped, and they were in tears that this is really very important.
Little things like these that we are able to do and you see the happiness, the satisfaction on someone's face, I believe that it's the higher power who is doing it. This Dimple and Nitesh could have been any other couple. Dimple and Nitesh are just names. God chose these two bodies, these two names. It could have been any other person. I believe we are just an instrument of what is happening. It could have been any other Dimple or any other girl. It is not me doing it, it is really the higher power doing it and we are simply the instrument and serving them.
Aryae: Thank you Dimple. In the Awakin calls, at the end of the call we ask the guest, one last question and I'm going to ask you that question. How can we as a Service Space community support you in your work?
Dimple: So, the next phase of Love Heal Cancer is where we are in the process of collecting data of patients and survivors. Research says in the US more than 64% of patients go for complementary therapies but they don't tell their doctors, and in India, it is more than 85% of patients who go for complementary therapies, along with mainstream but they don't share with doctors because we haven't reached the stage where we can discuss about complementary and alternative medicine with our doctors. But I feel that most people do go for them and so how can we compile all this data together like what was your disease history; what are the forms of therapies you've taken -- mainstream and complementary therapies; how has it helped you; and then collecting this data together and making sense out of it so that we can draw patterns and it can help many other patients. Because anyway people are going for it but there is no structured format, there is no structured data compilation. That's where I really want to work on.
Aryae: Are you saying that those of us in the Service Space community could contact you and volunteer to help collect and put together the data?
Dimple: Or in other way how can we leverage technology to create a system which is convenient for hospitals and healing centers to compile data and our volunteers to go and collect it. Not necessarily going and collecting data but how can we leverage technology to spread this information about holistic healing as well as collecting data?
Aryae: We will certainly invite people who have some thoughts about that to connect with you. Again Dimple, thank you so much for being with us and sharing the amazing inspiration of your story and thank you, Emily, for doing a magnificent job of holding the conversation and interviewing and thanks to everyone who has been on the call, thanks to those of you who submitted the questions. What we will do now is take a final moment at the end of the call to hold a moment of silence and gratitude together. [Silence]
Thank you everyone. Thank you again Dimple. Thank you, Emily, and also I want to say thank you to Gayathri who has so kindly taken notes and recorded some key moments from this conversation. Wishing everyone a good day, a good evening and carrying the inspiration and paying it forward and staying connected.
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