Dr. (Capt) RituBiyani (Breast Cancer survivor)
Cancer couldn’t defeat the fighting spirit of DrCaptRituBiyani (Retd), who has made ‘cancer-awareness’ her life’s mission. After a successful battle against breast cancer, DrBiyani initiated a project, ‘Highways Infinite’ in 2005 and since then, she has been educating the masses about the facts and myths of cancer.
When asked what ‘Highways Infinite’ is all about, DrBiyani said, “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. I realised the tremendous amount of physical, emotional, mental stress that a patient and his/her family go through. Then I, along with my daughter, travelled through 25 states of the country and covered a distance of 30,220 km in 177 days. It was featured in the Limca Book of Records for the first mother-daughter cancer awareness expedition.”
Biyani’sorganisation provides financial aid and counseling to cancer patients. It has reached out to around 1.66 lakh people from all sections of society. “I have set a target of educating two lakh people through workshops and narrating my own story. We need to break the silence. Early detection increases chances of survival,” she said.
Ritu faced this crisis at the age of 40 when she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer. Being a mother and facing the fatality of life takes all the will one can summon. Two surgeries, six chemotherapy cycles and 5 years of antibiotics later, she emerged to rise and fight again, this time for what she believes is the scourge of our times. Cancer.
Her life since has been a journey of touching over 70,000 people, about the nature of cancer, what it is and what it means to any of us. When she is not traveling or campaigning for cancer awareness, she devotes her time to careing for the sick and infirm. Ritu has travelled over 100,000 kilometers all over the world of which, over 65,000 kilometers in our own country covering dusty villages, big metropolitan cities, hospitals, army encampments, border towns and cancer patients. She speaks from her experiences and spreads the word of preventive and precautionary measures.
Highways Infinite takes its name from her one constant companion on this journey from corner to corner of the country, from one heartfelt experience to another – the road. This love for travel & adventure combined with the message on cancer awareness is what Highways Infinite espouses.
For her efforts, she has won plaudits and awards across the world. She is a recipient of the Manthan South Asia award 2008, and finds mention in the Limca book of records for pioneering the first drive expedition on cancer awareness.
Tista is the young and brave daughter of Dr.Biyani who supports and forwards the cause that her mother conceived. She often travels and volunteers with her mother at cancer awareness workshops across the country. Tista is the only Indian teenager from India to present at the International Breast Cancer Conference, Canada (June 2008).
Highways Infinite was founded in 2006 by DrRituBiyani Joseph to marry her love for travel & adventure with the cancer awareness cause. She remains the driving force of the organisation, against what humanity knows to be a very base debilitating disease.
Today Highways Infinite has touched over 70000 lives, spread the message of cancer awareness internationally and provided relief to several afflicted people and primary care givers.