December 15, 2021
(MISSISSAUGA, Canada)– In 2017, Navneet Sharma, now 41, began treatment for breast cancer. During her chemotherapy, she and her husband, Aseem Sharma, said they witnessed a lack of resourceful support for patients experiencing the mental and physical tolls of the illness. Inspired, the couple started their non-profit.
Navneet is now the founder and director of Cancer Warrior Canada Foundation, a resource providing cancer awareness and prevention support, and a platform to raise funds for cancer research.
“We came up with Cancer Warrior Canada Foundation, that that we are blessed. You know, we were blessed that we were together. And we were dealing with this journey with a lot of courage and positivity, but not all the people have that blessing. So we thought of starting Cancer Warrior,” said Navneet.
Navneet spends her day counselling cancer patients and hearing their stories.
“See, I am a cancer survivor. This is my fifth year in remission. If I can make it, why can’t you? Because usually, people think this is a death sentence. This is not, this is just a taboo. We have to eradicate the stigma,” said the mother of two.
Navneet’s mother had breast cancer when she was 17, and 20 years later, Navneet self-diagnosed herself with the same illness.
“Your body is your best friend. Another thing, only diagnosis saves lives. That’s also our tagline that if l had no mammogram, we have still no mammograms under the age of 50 and when it comes to women under 40, like in our whole team, so it was self-diagnosis. If I wouldn’t be aware of my own body, I wouldn’t be giving this interview in front of you,” said Navneet.
Navneet compares her cancer journey to that of her mother’s and draws parallels of advancements in research for her treatment experience. She describes the time she and her husband went to the dollar store to prepare for her chemotherapy.
“We were preparing ourselves. But when I was going through the treatment, I realized that there’s a huge difference in how medical sciences have done a lot.” said Navneet. “And when it comes to our country, the Canadian medical system, it’s amazing. My mom used to throw a lot. I did not throw a single time.”
As part of their work, Cancer Warrior Canada Foundation works with local volunteers to fund research. Their latest research fund is immunotherapy which, according to Navneet, is an emerging way to beat breast cancer. Over the past four years, the foundation has raised over $100,000CAD for cancer research.
On December 23rd, Cancer Warrior Canada Foundation is having its fifth annual cancer awareness fundraiser gala at the Canadian Convention Centre in Brampton, where tickets cost $75CAD, and a table of eight is $550CAD. The raised proceeds go to breast cancer research and awareness.
Navneet said the key to beating cancer is to take care of your body, and if someone needs support in their cancer journey, to contact her foundation.
“So please take care of yourself. Please be mindful, especially to the women of our communities like South Asians, South East Asians, we always keep ourselves at the back. You know, at the front, we have our families responsibility, or work or social. But hey, that’s not something should be the way it should be the vice versa, that women should be first taking care of themselves. And she’s holding the torch, and she can then take care of others. So that is something we are messages that be mindful and take care of your body,” said Navneet.