World Rose Day is annually celebrated on September 22 in dedication to the welfare of cancer patients.

World Rose Day is annually celebrated on September 22 in dedication to the welfare of cancer patients. On this day, people around the world work towards bringing cheer and hope into the lives of all those people who have been affected by cancer. More importantly, it seeks to remind patients and their caregivers, that they are not alone in this battle against the deadly disease.

Cancer treatments are quite tasking on the body and mind of those who have been affected. With the changes their bodies encounter and the sheer mental trauma of being ravaged by this disease can wreak havoc with most people. According to Dr. Ganapathi Bhat, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Stem cell Transplant Physician at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, “The financial costs associated with cancer are often overwhelming. Cancer affects a person’s diet and eating habits in many ways. The illness can in itself cause weight loss, lack of appetite or other problems associated with eating. Cancer also often affects your self-image and self-esteem. Possible changes in physical appearance and depleted health can be frightening. Having cancer can undermine your mental and physical wellbeing.” But by making even the simplest gestures of kindness, each and every one of us can bring some comfort to their lives. Even though that alone is not enough to cure them, it can certainly ease their suffering.

World Rose Day for the Welfare of Cancer Patients was first observed in honour of 12-year-old Melinda Rose from Canada, who was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer known as Askin’s Tumour. Even while the doctors had only given her weeks to live, she went on to live for 6 months and spent her time bringing joy and hope to all the diagnosed people around her. She reached out to all the cancer patients, sharing poems, letters and emails with them, to bring some cheer into their lives. Her kindness and optimism serve as a reminder to us all, that even in the most bleak of all situations, hope is what keeps us going.

By offering roses to cancer patients and their caregivers, people extend their concern and offer tenderness in the face of this harsh disease. Unfortunately, the medical and science fields are yet to come up with an absolute cure for cancer, despite their constant dedication to this cause, we can all contribute in our own way by being mindful of their suffering and ensuring that we care for them and contribute to their strength so that they may continue fighting.

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