“Earlier, I was not so frightened. But now, when I hear the word ‘cancer’ I can feel shivers go through my spine. I’ve witnessed the challenges it brings,” says Shabnam Singh, mother of Yuvraj Singh and the chairperson of YouWeCan Foundation. Shabnam Singh is known for her drive in bringing change to healthcare in India – and amongst her motivations, is the experience of facing her son’s diagnosis. “I remember I was going to the Gurudwara to pray when we were expecting his results to come. On my way, I received a call from one of Yuvraj’s friends who gave me the news. My son was diagnosed with Cancer. My immediate response was that of fear, denial and disbelief. I thought to myself – how can this happen?” She recalls being too numb to pick a single one of the numerous phone calls she was receiving. “It was after a few moments to myself, that I decided that I had to be there for my son. I realized that I must put my emotions on the side. As a caregiver, my responsibility was a great one. I had to be a strong support system through what would be a life changing obstacle for my son. I would often panic – I am human after all. Seeing my son faint in my arms was one of those moments I would never forget. I never cried,” she says.
To give strength to a cancer patient and to motivate them is the role of the caregiver. “Halfway through his treatment, Yuvraj knew that he could either cry about it or be strong about it. He decided to be strong and that’s how he came out of it,” she says. It was with strength and a solid support system that Yuvraj Singh defeated cancer – and chose to turn this obstacle, to an opportunity in changing India’s approach to Cancer treatment.
Mrs. Singh’s story is a personal tale of courage and maternal strength. “I truly feel like all mothers are a pillar of strength. No matter the challenge, there lies a superpower within mothers to rise and fight for our children. If I had also gone weak, how could I have given the strength to my son to fight the disease?”
The birth of YouWeCan foundation, was the result of experiencing and winning their personal fight against cancer. They now work to empower all people to fight cancer through Cancer Screening Programmes, Cancer Awareness Programmes, YouWeCan Cancer Treatment Fund and YWC Scholarship for Cancer Survivors.