A matrimonial website for blood cancer survivors and patients was inaugurated in Coimbatore on Friday. Developed by the Advanced Centre for Blood and Blood Cancers, this website is an initiative which has been launched to help blood cancer patients find suitable partners who have been cured of blood and blood related cancers.
While education and employment have become relatively hassle free for people cured of blood cancer, marriage continues to pose a problem. It becomes difficult to find partners who are aware as well as accepting of people who have been cured of cancer.
The website enables patients and survivors to get together as they're likely to be more aware and understanding of the situation. Time consuming explanations and elaborations can be done away with or at least reduced with this arrangement.
"It is a major necessity in a country like India where cancer is still considered to be a taboo. It becomes difficult for people who have been cured of blood cancer to get married," says Dr R Suthanthira Kannan, consultant hemato-oncologist at Coimbatore Kidney Centre. He spoke of marriages which ended in divorce because the cured patients had kept their medical history a secret from their spouse at the time of marriage.
This website has organised, confidential information related to the patients. The people who are looking for alliances need to fill in the form and send it by post. The coordinators will look up the information and provide them with concerned details with consent from suitable patients.
Speaking to Times of India, Ashwini, who was diagnosed with chronic blood cancer 5 years ago, said, "We don't have to go through the pain of explaining it to his (groom's) family, hoping they would understand."
The report says that once the illness was under control, her parents had started looking for a suitable groom only to come up short because of confusions and apprehension as to what to tell a prospective groom about her situation. This is not their story alone, but of numerous others who are diagnosed and cured of diseases like cancer.
With the advent of websites like this and more inclusive initiatives in the future, the stigma related to these problems can hopefully be done away with.