“Cancer can be treated like a lifestyle disease.”- Vijay Bhat
In this episode, Ashutosh Garg engages in an insightful conversation with Vijay Bhat, Founder – Cancer Awakens, and Co-Author – ‘My Cancer is Me”. Vijay, a cancer survivor, previously worked as a prominent advertising professional.
Vijay shares the three key milestones in his life. He shares his experiences after getting diagnosed with cancer. He tells how he reacted to the illness in the primary days. Vijay talks about practicing a holistic and integrated approach to avoid recurrence. He emphasizes the importance of keeping the immune system in good condition.
Vijay tells what made him set up the organization ‘Cancer Awakens’. He shares his mission and aspirations. He talks about the significance of staying mentally strong during the battle against cancer. He cross analyzes the stigmas and taboos associated with cancer. The number of people affected by cancer has been rising steadily over the years. Vijay attempts to explain why this is happening. Later, he talks about the book he co-authored, ‘My Cancer is Me’. He shares his biggest learning from his biggest mistake in life.
Vijay Bhat, Founder, Cancer Awakens & Co-Author – “My Cancer Is ME’
Vijay calls himself a ‘cancer-thriver’ after facing colon cancer since 2001. He was diagnosed soon after turning 40. After successful surgery, he decided against chemotherapy and turned to a Holistic & Integrated approach to minimize his chances of a recurrence. 17 years later, he is still cancer-free, and a better person than before. “Cancer healed me” he says. Vijay pioneered Cancer Coaching in India and has trained/ certified 13 coaches (he calls them ‘Cancer Sherpas’) to deliver a structured ‘Thriver’ coaching program to individuals and families who face the daunting challenge of cancer . He is now scaling up his organization ‘Cancer Awakens’ with the Vision: “Many millions must survive; One million must thrive”. He and his wife (Nilima) co-developed their unique Holistic & Integrative approach to cancer and shared it in their book ‘My Cancer Is Me: The Journey from Illness To Wholeness’, published by Hay House in 2013; a Spanish edition has also been published in 2016.
Vijay has led various cancer-related initiatives, both on-line and on-ground, for which he was recognized with the ‘Cancer-Victor’ award by the V-Care Foundation in 2008. His inspiring story and work have been widely covered by leading media. He is a sought-after keynote and motivational speaker on the topics of Cancer and Leadership. From a preventive standpoint, Vijay has recently launched a unique ‘Stress-to-Swaasthya’ program for Workplace Wellbeing, targeting a corporate audience. Workplace stress is a major issue for most people and the structured program provides a range of tools that are simple, actionable, and fun! In his 1st career spanning 25 years, he worked in various leadership positions for a multinational advertising agency (Ogilvy & Mather) and lived all over the world. Thereafter, he embarked on his 2nd career of 13 years, as a ‘Transitions Coach’ and worked closely with CEOs and Leadership teams in blue-chip companies across many industry sectors, both in India and overseas. “Reducing the suffering caused by cancer” is how he describes his swan song.