CANCER HAS NOT SLOWED CHETTIAR’S HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS
Written by: Venal Naidu
Cancer fighter, humanitarian, servant of the community, sister, and most importantly a mother, these are some of the words that describe Paddy Chettiar, Head Sister at Ecomed Dialysis Centre.
Chettiar started her nursing career 40 years ago at Addington Hospital as a staff nurse, but made her way to working with kidney patients as she always had love for nephrology.
Chettiar has always done her best to curb kidney failure in communities as she has always tried her best to become an activist for kidney failure, by giving health advice to patients and at health events when asked to talk.
Along with her job, Chettiar does her best to serve the community in health-related matters. She is also the volunteering director at the Kidney Association of KwaZulu-Natal. With this title, she carries out many community outreach projects such as wellness days which include blood glucose, cholesterol, blood and pressure tests. She carries these together with her team throughout the province for free to individuals who cannot afford them. She works near and far including places like Glenwood, Chatsworth and places as far as Richards Bay, eNsaleni and Umgababa.
After jumping off a plane in July this year, Chettiar felt a lump underneath her right breast. She was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer but in the midst of all, she continued to do her best to give back to her community setting an example to those with cancer.
“It’s my drive and it’s my passion that is taking me on this positive journey and if I stop doing that then I feel I stop being me,” said Chettiar
Chettiar said that she wants to be a living example to show cancer fighters that there really is hope for them.
“I want to be an example to all those who have cancer and show them that it isn’t the end of the world and that it can be fought,” explained Chettiar.
Chettiar is a strong believer in God and says that it is through God that she is not feeling any pain.
“I’ve actually shocked the entire medical field by not showing any signs of pain after my mastectomy; I feel that that is because of the good Lord I serve,” added Chettiar.
Chettiar works three days a week and since she was diagnosed back in July, she has not taken a day of sick leave. Following her chemotherapy sessions, she tries to maintain her energy and and enjoys an afternoon out.
“I’m still living my life the way I always did with no problems and after my chemotherapy treatment I go out for lunch,” Chettiar ended.
*Caption: Paralympic Bronze Medalist Tyron Pillay lets Paddy Chettiar wear his medal at Umhlanga Cancer Support Group.