When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars. It may be hard to find your silver lining during a hardship, but it’s there. If you look for it, you will find it.
A little kiddo was lying on his bed; he sees the stars made with glitter hanging over his bed. He tried to remember the last time he saw an actual star but he couldn’t as he was dosed with medicine his body was asking for the rest so he turned to his mom and asked “Mommy, Is that true those stars are fallen soldiers in the battle?” his mom replied, “Yes my love, they are soldiers who tried their very best but still fell short”. “Mommy, can I be a good soldier one day?” Kiddo asked. “You are Son, You are a soldier who battles hard for life. You are a soldier who refuses to give up the fight against ‘Cancer’. You are the soldier that keeps Daddy going. You are the soldier that keeps Mommy motivated each and every day. Please be a survivor my little hero” Mom whispered to him with wet glittery eyes.
According to WHO this is the story of each family among every two families. In numerical values one in five men and one in six women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime. So it is quite clear that this dangerous medical condition called ‘Cancer’ has made a lethal impact on our society. It has taken away the happiness in families and given them burdens that are too heavy to bear.
So it is our duty to help them in every possible way we could, so that we can lighten at least a featherweight from their burden. As youngsters, as the next generation to govern the society The Rotaract Club of SLIIT decided to donate one thousand King-Coconuts for the APEKSHA hospital – Maharagama. This project was launched under the community services avenue and it was chaired by Rtr.Kethaki Padmaperuma and Rtr.Nipun Maduranga
Preparation for the Battle
Since the day we got this project approved by the SLIIT, the chair persons of this project toiled hard to raise funds for this project. Our main ways of raising funds was tills and donations. So we made the plan and start to raise the funds. Fund raising using tills was a fun experience. Even though we collected funds to tills only inside the SLIIT premises it was a whole another experience. By the 5th of March evening we were able to fill up all the tills and collect ample of donations. Then we started counting our collection in the main building with the presence of our assistant lecturer in charge Miss.Jenny. At the end of the counting we were as pleased as we were able to collect funds over One Hundred Thousand Rupees.
At the Battleground
After toiling with raising funds, the project date 6th of March came along. Everyone was so excited about the project. But the day started a little early for Rtr. Nipun Maduranga, Rtr Kethaki Padmaperuma and for two man crew (Our iron lady Ms. Duleesha and Rtr. Keheliya aka Kehel). And also there were some special participants to our project,Mr. K.H. Gnanadasa and Ms. Kusum Gnanadasa. They both did a great job by guiding and helping us to achieve our project success. Also Mr. Pasan Deesara, we can’t forget that name. He spent many sleepless nights on behalf of our project by searching for king-coconuts all around the area. On the project day too they went to Bandaragama at 4.00 am in searching for thousand King-coconuts (The king coconut search was a last minute thrilling adventure because you know, plan changes!). That shows us the will they had to accomplish success in this project. After successfully getting 1000 king coconuts they headed straightly to the Apeksha hospital while the rest of the Rotaractors gathered to SLIIT by 8.00 am. By 8.30 they left SLIIT premises in a shuttle and arrived to the hospital around 9.30 am. Then the real deal started!
Cutting 1000 King-Coconuts with just eight knives. But our fellow Rotaractors with never-say-never attitude stepped up and started doing the job with knives and another bunch started pouring and serving them.
A little by little the number of remaining king-coconuts came down we were able to pulled that task within one and half hours. Yeah, you read it right we pulled it off. After we were done with cutting, pouring and serving King-Coconut we cleaned-up the place and loaded the garbage to a garbage truck. Furthermore, we also donated two Central Venous Catheters (CVC)s which would assist small kids in safer delivery of chemotherapy.
After finishing the official project, all the Rotaractors who joined the project gathered for a group photo. After clicking the snap we were headed back to SLIIT.
Returning with a glimpse of Hope
While we were walking through the cancer fighters serving them, we saw the unpredictability of our lives, we saw the glimpse of hope in their eyes. Most importantly the smiles they had with us hiding all of their pain and struggles to survive reminded us one thing. They have cancer, cancer never have them. They are not to be defined by they were going through. Cancer will never have them. They are much more than their disease. They are not patients, they are fighters. They are Survivors. They are the silver lining.
Written by –
Rtr. Nimsara Fernando