Motivation for all the cancer patients , Highway tour by a cancer survivor Dr Ritu Biyani Joseph
Ritu Biyani Joseph, a mother of one child, was diagnosed of Breast cancer in the year 2000 at the age of 40. For the next 8 months she confronted the disease with the help of her treating doctors and support of her family members, undergoing 2 Surgeries and 6 cycles of Chemotherapy followed by Tamoxifien for 5 years.
The physical and emotional effects left by her ‘adventure with breast cancer’ did not deter her from continuing with her daily life as a working mother, a committed healer and an avid adventurer !! Her Clinic, Tennis, Trekking, Badminton, driving across the various states of India and looking after a growing adolescent never stopped!! Simultaneously she started meeting other patients, boosting their spirits and cheering them up..
Professionally a Dental Surgeon, she served as a Captain in the Indian Army for 10 years [1981 to 1992].Presently, she has her own dental practice at Pune –Maharashtra (India).
She extends her expertise to conduct dental health education, and cancer awareness programmes to the various strata of society. She utilizes her zeal for trekking and driving to reach out to the hard- to-reach with her outreach programmes.
She has worked with the tsunami affected people in the coastal areas of Tamilnadu- India, in 2004
Ritu is an adventurer by heart who loves challenges. Having already experienced the pumping of adrenaline as a mountaineer, skydiver and a paratrooper.
She has endorsed her name as the first lady Paratrooper in the history of the Army Dental Corps in Jan 1984
Ritu‘s extensive travels through the length and breath of the country both during her Army career and her adventure pursuits have given her tremendous insight into the life and needs of rural India and the country’s cultural, communal and traditional biodiversities. She has driven more than 60,000kms post cancer.
Her passion for driving, sprouted into PROJECT High>>>Ways, an unique blend of adventure sports with cancer awareness mission across the country; the very first of its kind in India ,thus creating history as the first mother daughter duo expedition with the mission.
She is an avid photographer, bird watcher, with keen interest in the environment.
Rotary clubs, Red Cross society, local organizations, support groups, corporates, schools, colleges, youth organizations and various groups.
Dr Ritu Biyani has made it her life’s mission to spread awareness about cancer, particularly breast cancer, among women in not just the urban centres in India but in the remote and tough-to-communicate stretches of the country, that have already made her into a Limca Book of Records holder for driving solo, in the first mother-daughter duo to drive over 30,220 kms touching the four tips of India at Kutch, Kannyakumari, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The measure of people’s appreciation of Ritu’s work is evident from the fact that she has held camps at some of the most sensitive locations in the country where law and order problems , and social unrest have deterred many from even venturing into these territories, leave alone engage in public speaking . Her greatest satisfaction is the unhindered co-operation she received from every single individual in all her travels, be it a tribal, civilian, defence personnels, govt servants etc, each of whom she was a messenger of good hope.
She engages audiences on various facets of the ailment and endeavours to bring about an understanding of the realities about the disease, and the after effects of such diagnosis and ways to deal with the emotional and physical trauma, citing her personal example of one who stood up to the challenge of this dreaded condition.
Her daughter Tista Joseph a budding photographer and writer, has traveled extensively with her mother. She has an excellent adaptability to rural, tribal and urban life. Has a keen interest in social, environmental and wildlife activities.Her articles have featured in Sanctuary Cub Magazine and local media.Was a speaker at the 3rd International Asia Pacific Reach to Recovery breast cancer support conference- JAGRUTI at Mumbai nov 2006
She assists her mother with the cancer awareness campaigns as and when she can peep out of her study schedule. She is a hockey player and a swimmer.
DR. RITU AND TISTA HAVE FEATURED IN LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS 2007.FOR UNDERAKING THE FIRST EVER MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUO CANCER AWARENESS EXPEDITION- PROJECT High>>>Ways.
Some lines I want to convey, as this is the motto of my life:
“EXPLORE…one’s own inner strengths and spirits
To UNLOCK and EXPAND…one’s own horizons
STEER through all odds and trying times…on the highways called life
OVERCOME…the fear of unknown in one’s roller coaster quest
EXPERIENCE…those exhilarating moments of going beyond
To CELEBRATE…the whole existence.”