Paying back to community”

Kashmir makes Sujit cycle in Calgary to conquer cancer

Sunny Dua
When one learns to understand how abundantly rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever, then comes the time to realises how much more life means to those who are facing terminal illness. This is what Sujit Singh realised and went on to cycle miles around Calgary, Canada to raise funds for cancer patients and research. The journey was tough but with the support of his family, friends and college alumni, he achieved his target that he had set for himself.
Born and brought up in Baramulla, Kashmir known for its hospitality and generosity, Sujit after having decided to pay back to society not only cycled for two days but also raised $2500 to support Alberta Cancer Foundation which ensures that all patients in Alberta get access to best clinical trials, enhanced patient care and better outcomes. “My family background, doctor father’s philanthropic works and quintessence of Kashmir enabled me to cycle 200Kms in Calgary to conquer cancer”, Sujit explained reasons that attracted him towards this cause.
Having inculcated a spirit to pay back to society, Sujit Singh also sought help of his family and friends before donating himself for the cause. Having done his engineering in computer science from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Bidar; Son of the soil Sujit Singh was a brilliant student in school and a good sportsperson who represented his school as well college in hockey. Once he had represented GNDEC, Bidar hockey team in Gulbarga games and displayed his skills which were highly appreciated.
After doing his schooling from Baramulla and college from Karnataka, Sujit Singh moved to Alberta, Canada in 2003 and ever since then had been doing his bit to give back to community. An avid trekker and cyclist, he got inspiration from his surroundings as well as roots and decided to cycle in support of ‘Ride to Conquer Cancer’. “I have noticed that people from our background don’t participate in such events and this was my personal initiative to lead by example and also contribute to the cause”, he said adding that he intends to send a message of philanthropy back home as well.
To add more humility to his practice sessions before actually participating in two-day cycling tour, Sujit Singh of Baramulla, now settled in Calgary, kicked off his intensive training few weeks prior to the main event by dedicating his cycling to his friend in Kashmir Mohiudin Shah who expired last year. He even added some cheerfulness to the practicing sessions by dedicated some training to his friend Hardeep Singh Grewal who celebrated wedding anniversary and more likes. This, according to Sujit, encourages people to donate generously for the cause.
The net proceeds, he added benefits Alberta Cancer Foundation, a leader in critical cause. His target of earning $2500 came from self, friends and alumni including Hardeep Singh Grewal, Karandeep Singh Chahal, Manpreet Singh Shahi, Sukhvivan Singh Mann, Maninderjit Singh, Suneet Chaudhry, Rick Kapoor, Sudeep Virk, Rocky and Manu Bhatia to name a few. He got donations from US, UK, India and even Gulf countries to support the cause and said, “I wish to see this getting imitated in India especially Jammu and Kashmir as well”.
Sujit Singh having participating number 241309-5 first registered himself and cycled for two days covering about 200 Kms and raised funds to aid in ongoing fight against cancer. Since number of cancer patients in Jammu and Kashmir are also rising at an alarming rate, Sujit believes that fundraising activities must also start in freshly carved out Union Territory (UT) by community members for this heroic commitment to the cause. He disclosed that ever since 2009, ‘Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer’ has raised over $80.9 million (about 648 Cr INR) for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
“I joined the ride because devoting a weekend to cycling through Alberta is one small way I can make a big difference for cancer patients with the Alberta Cancer Foundation and throughout the province. Last summer, I did not see my neighbour for a period of time and later I learned he was diagnosed with Cancer and was on treatment. One day, he said to my wife “I am home most of time these days and if you need to get anything done around your house, just let me know”…. his spirits towards life and even help when he was not in situation to help made me sign up for this event to support people like my neighbour get back on life and defeat Cancer”, he narrated.
According to the cycling enthusiast from Jammu and Kashmir, it was not the distance that he travelled that made any lasting impact but it was donations provided to the ride that he believes will now help him conquer cancer and help patients in a big way. Asking people to be generous, he said that Ride to Conquer Cancer series is Canada’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event that enables the Alberta Cancer Foundation support breakthrough cancer research, clinical trials, enhanced care and the discovery of new cancer therapies at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Cross Cancer Institute and 15 other centers in Alberta.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation’s vision is to achieve a cancer-free future by investing in cancer prevention and screening, enhanced care and research. Funds raised through The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer are powering research, clinical trials and enhanced care programmes, he disclosed adding that Foundation also supports every cancer clinical trial that takes place in Alberta. Over the past five years,
The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer has helped give 6,000 Albertans the opportunity to take part in ground-breaking clinical trials, allowing access to promising new cancer treatments, drugs and therapies. Clinical trials examine the efficiency of hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy, combinations of treatments, and explore new, less invasive surgical methods. Immunotherapy is also done to strengthen patients’ immune system to enable it to fight diseases such as cancer. The foundation has been helping patients with Breast Cancer, Ovarian cancer and even Head and neck cancer. It has also been supporting research work where a mobile app is being developed to help many patients receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes. Work on developing new drugs to block the ability of tumours to resist radiation and chemotherapy by repairing the DNA is also going on. Scientists also intend to develop Nanocarriers that will deliver drugs to tumour tissues while sparing healthy tissues to improve treatment success and quality of life.