Pushpaben Mansukh Shah was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in September 2018.
She explains here her motivations for marking her 80th birthday with a sky dive in Australia.
Acknowledgements by Pushpaben:
Before I share my story of why I did a skydive to raise money for bowel cancer, I would like to acknowledge 3 people in my life who have been a source of inspiration. Firstly, my mother, Maniben Punamchand Shah (Dabasang) who despite having little herself, was always helping others, sharing whatever she had.
Secondly, my father-in-law, Lakhamshi Govindji Khimasia (Chela) and thirdly, my husband Mansukh, two men with great compassion and generous hearts who always went out of their way to help others in need.
For many years I have been wanting to do a skydive to raise money for a charity and have been thinking about which charity to do this for. Four years ago, in 2018, the cause that I want to support came to me when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
For most of my life, I have been well and healthy and have not had to face any medical or health issues myself. So, when I received this diagnosis, my world turned upside down and I had no idea of the journey that I was going to have to go through to beat this disease.
This was a very difficult and challenging time for me personally, especially as Mansukh was not there to be with me. However, I was very lucky as my children Mehul, Parool and Avni, and their partners Rupal, David and Hanish and extended family and friends were there to support me along the way.
When I went through my treatment in Singapore, I was also very fortunate to have connected with others who had gone through this journey. To have been able to talk to those who had lived through this experience was very helpful for me in navigating and understanding my journey.
I am now cancer free and turning 80. Four years ago, I would not have been able to believe that I would get this far. To mark my 80th birthday in November, on 20th March 2022, I did a skydive for Bowel Cancer UK, a charity that is leading research into bowel cancer in the UK, providing great information and support to patients and their families and stopping people dying from bowel cancer.
It was a wonderful experience, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their generosity and helping me raise GBP 15,380 to date.