Two-time victory over cancer by Prof. Avtar S. Virdi

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This is a story of sheer grit and determination and inspiration to all. Professor Avtar Singh Virdi who is an accomplished Engineer a successful Professor in Canada, has recently added another feather to his cap. He has completed a walk of 350 kms in 13 main cities east to West in Canada to spread awareness about cancer and raise 1 million dollars for cancer research. The entire local media has interviewed him and blessed him in his great endeavour. He and his team have appeared in Sanjha T.V., Prime Asia T. V, Leader/ Newspaper Entertainment magazine, The Times of Canada, Red FM 89.1/ 93.1, Sher-e-Punjab KRPI 1550 AM, Connect FM 91.5, Radio India 1110 AM, Spice Radio 12 00 AM and Punjabi Press Club before leaving for his walk starting from St. John’s, New Foundland & Labrabor on June 14, 2022 that concluded on July 10, 2022 in Vancouver.

It was not easy at all, but his grit and dedication to Terry Fox gave him the well-deserved accomplishment. He was a well-settled business person with a good name & fame in a thirdworld country and moved to Canada from for greener pastures in his middle age. And after an obvious struggle of four to five years, he made a good fortune and established himself in his same business as well in Canada again. Succeeding once in a life is a great achievement. But moving to Canada in mid 30s and succeeding a second time in the same business of teaching ESL that might have a direct competition with Canada government, was nothing less than a miracle.

Unfortunately, after thirteen years he suffered from colon cancer of stage 3C, not only once rather twice just in a span of five years. He survived cancer a second time too with his ever-smiling face after removal of his 30% liver rotten with cancer. Although, with delayed start of diagnosis and start of treatments was like fighting the fiercest battle of his life. One also needed a super-positive will power & family support. What a strong soul he had to have to go through all that and say ‘Yes’ to life again! He was no less than a ‘Messiah’ who has set an example before all the cancer patients of the world how to face the terrible disease bravely.

Very few people had a potent cocktail of audacity, positive focus on life, creativity, dynamism and charisma. Prof. Virdi was one of those people who not only bore all the pains of Chemotherapies and radiation treatments but also went through four major surgeries and over ten-month bed rest. He not only survived, but went a step ahead to pay tribute to Terry Fox. Doctors, after his first-time survival, told him in May 2018 that he was cancer free and needn’t be diagnosed for the next three years. But cancer struck him in Oct 2020 in his groin a second time that also reached his Liver. Medical science says that when cancer comes a second time with vengeance. He had to go through more excruciating pains the second time. He had his last of 25 radiation and oral chemotherapies on March 28, 2022. And the oncologist and the Radiotherapist told him on April 29, 2022 from his CT scan report that he was cancer free a second time.

Cont. in next edition

By: Alka Kashyap

Chandigarh

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