Nandu lost his leg to cancer but it did not stop him from singing songs and giving motivational speeches to light up the lives of cancer patients
KOZHIKODE: Nandu Mahadeva, whose fight against cancer gave hope and inspired many patients, succumbed to the disease on Saturday. He was 27.
Hailing from Bharathanoor in Thiruvananthapuram, Nandu, as he is commonly called, breathed his last at the MVR Cancer Centre and Research Institute near here at 4am.
The nonchalance displayed by him in taking on the disease with a smiling face and the efforts made by him as lead organizer of Athijeevanam, a social media collective of cancer patients, gave confidence to hundreds of cancer patients to take on the disease without losing heart.
He sang songs and gave motivational speeches to light up the lives of cancer patients and was hugely popular on social media.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, Union minister of state for external affairs, V Muraleedharan among others joined hundreds of people in paying tributes to Nandu and offered their condolences.
Nandu was diagnosed with bone cancer on April 1, 2018, and had to amputate his left leg during treatment at Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. But the resolute fighter in him began a new journey from then on which made his life a symbol of not giving up.
In a Facebook post soon after the diagnosis, Nandu had written, “The disease of cancer has started to have a liking for me. But I am not going to consider it as a malady. I will treat it as a common cold,” he had said.
Over the next one year, he travelled over 30,000 km including a trip to Oman and attended over 100 public programmes and went to the houses of cancer patients confined to their beds to inspire and cheer them up. He had climbed the 950-metre high Panchalimedu hills on his crutches and also undertook a pilgrimage to Pazhani Hills by climbing the 1008 steps of the hill shrine.
When the disease relapsed in October 2019, and spread to lungs, he didn’t lose heart and had said that his motto was that ‘Life has to be fought and won’ and added that success in life lies not in never falling but in rising after the fall.
Nandu was open about his battle with cancer and updated every development in his fight to the Athijeevanam group.
Nandu’s family, who had been running a catering firm in Thiruvananthapuram had been staying in Kozhikode for the last two years for his treatment at the MVR Cancer Centre. The funeral was carried out at West Hill crematorium in the morning. Nandu leaves behind his father Hari, mother Lekha and siblings Ananthu and Saikrishna.