In 2004, Vivek Anand Oberoi joined hands with the Cancer Patients Aid Association(CPAA). He came up with a novel idea 18 years ago when he celebrated his birthday with children fighting cancer. To cheer them up, he invited cancer survivors who he refers to as ‘angels’. These survivors inspired the other children emotionally to fight the disease. Seeing the difference in the health of the children who felt hopeful and inspired to win against the disease, he hosts birthday parties with them till date. He also holds magic shows and screens movies to motivate them to combat the disease.
In the past 18 years, he has helped more than 2,50,000 underprivileged children both emotionally and financially to fight cancer. Along with CPAA, Vivek has rescued families sleeping on the footpath outside the Tata Memorial hospital, given them a place to stay and financially supported their children to fight the dreadful disease. He has also built relationships with doctors, thanking and acknowledging them for not charging, getting life-saving drugs at discounted values and talking to pharmaceutical companies to partner with CPAA.
The consistent efforts of the actor since the past 18 years have been a blessing for many farmers and their families who had to mortgage their lands and houses with loan sharks who charge a bomb to relieve it. Vivek’s motto is to ensure that no child should suffer fatally because their parents couldn’t afford these necessary treatments and if a way to fight this battle is available, every child should get a chance to have it.
As he looks back at his journey with young cancer patients, Vivek says, “I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to meet these angels and help them to the best of my ability. The smile on their faces and the twinkle in their eyes only motivate me to keep being there for them. I urge everyone to come forward and help these children lead a life which is not very different from other children. In the past 18 years, my greatest achievements are having been able to help more than 250,000 poor children from farmer families in rural India help them fight cancer, financially and emotionally. I refuse to call them patients because they are truly some of the bravest children. At the age of 7 and 8, they have the courage to fight cancer. That’s why I call them fighters.”
On World Cancer Day today, the actor took to social media to share a moving video to thank young cancer survivors for setting an example and inspiring little fighters. The montage gives a glimpse of him sharing emotional moments with them. What caught our attention was a montage of Vivek with infant Sahara who was born with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is seen talking about taking her to a doctor during the shoot of Saathiya. Sahara, who is now 18, has battled the disease and is leading a normal and happy life.