Shalet Souza is a 42-year-old nun at the Institute of Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany, in Mangalore, India. She currently takes care of aspiring nuns and lives a life devoted to learning and supporting others, including the poor and needy in her region.
At 29, Shalet sought treatment for frequent fevers, which would normally resolve themselves within a few days. During that time, she was selected to study religion at Vidya Jyothi College in Delhi. Shalet was encouraged by a colleague to get a proper blood test as a precaution before she left for her studies. The test was a blessing in disguise, indicating that her white blood cell count was abnormal.
Further examination, including testing of her bone marrow, led to a diagnosis of leukemia. Despite the shocking news, Shalet remained optimistic thanks to the support of her family and congregation. Her doctor prescribed medication to treat her disease and directed her to The Max Foundation (Max).
Through Max, she is provided with the necessary dosage free of cost and periodic blood tests confirm the quantity of cancerous cells present in her blood. Shalet views the nausea caused by the medication to be a minor symptom compared to the chemotherapy and radiation that other patients are suffering through.
Shalet now considers The Max Foundation to be her second care home and has bonded with fellow patients over the years. She’s thankful for the Max-led awareness programs and activities, as well as insights from doctors that relieve her doubts. She continues to live a healthy and happy life and encourages her fellow patients to “not lose heart, take courage, and be positive. Cancer is a small test to prove our mettle.”