Nandu Mahadeva, 27, an amputee and a cancer patient, who was famous on social media through his campaigns to help others, died on May 15. Nandu was the face of hope and survival for cancer patients through his inspiring thoughts that he shared through social media. After being diagnosed with bone cancer, Nandu had formed a Facebook group of people who are seriously ill and charity workers, to extend emotional and financial support to them.
"Marking my condolences to Nandu Mahadevan from Barathannur of Thiruvananthapuram, who gave the message of survival against cancer. Nandu faced cancer with unbelievable courage and also gave the confidence to people to be strong in difficult times. He motivated people through love and kindness. His death is a loss to Kerala. I join in the pain of his family and friends. Condolences," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on Facebook.
Nandu, who ran a catering unit, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. His leg was amputated during treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram in 2018.
Later, he formed the collective Athijeevanam, through which he did many campaigns to help people who are suffering from various illnesses and financial constraints. Athijeevanam helps people through crowdfunding campaigns.
When he was shifted to Kozhikode for further treatment, he had to shut down his catering unit as he was not able to bear the treatment expenses. In August 2020, he sought help from his supporters financially and people donated generously. After getting Rs 50 lakh within 24 hours, he wrote on Facebook, "Enough, enough I am overwhelmed by your love and affection." He also promised those who helped him that he would give the remaining amount to those who need it.
After his demise, social media was flooded with condolences as his smiling face was an inspiration for many.
On April 9, Nandu had informed his followers on Facebook that doctors had told him medicines wonâ€™t be effective for treatment hereafter. "Unbearable pain is there in my body but I can stand straight and say life is to fight. In the coming war, I will be alone. There will be no medicines or chemotherapy to help. When my cancer molecular test results came, all doctors were shocked. There is a rare variation, there is no medicine for this. A medicine has to be invented. Yes they will invent it....But we should not fail. With strong mind, we should fight. Don't get defeated...," he wrote.