brave women, real-life manikarnika, cancer victim, cancer, indomitable disease, motivational

Her Brave Battle with an Indomitable Disease

Jamnagar Medical college has launched a book – “Re-Start, Nayi Umang Nayi Asha”. It has 10 chapters and one of them is about a fighter who battled beyond the horizon of courage. It's about Ms.Urvi Sabnis, from Ahmedabad, our next Real-Life Manikarnika.

                               Ms.Urvi Sabnis, from Ahmedabad, our next Real-Life Manikarnika.

Born to a middle-class family in a small town of Gujarat, Ms Urvi was a quintessential smart child, scoring well yet never the topper of the class. She chose the stream of science and the mediocrity entailed. She dreamt of having a laboratory of her own. But God had different plans for her.

Urvi had her first career break in a field that was completely disparate to her qualifications as a microbiologist. She went for an interview to Reliance Industries, Jamnagar, for the position of a lab technician in their medical Centre, but the spark in her gave an opportunity to join their real-estate cell. It was a very junior post, but in just six years, her sheer diligence and honesty led her ascension in the corporate ladder and eventually she headed the Gujarat Real-Estate of Reliance Industries for all the formats. Be it an Info COMM tower, or a Petrol station or a Reliance mart, we can find her sandal prints in all these, as these acquisitions were done by her.
Ms.Urvi Sabnis, from Ahmedabad, our next Real-Life Manikarnika.
Urvi got married in 1997 and it was a love marriage. Her husband was also working for the same group and they met during their posting at Jamnagar. Their first meeting was a big fight which later turned out to be a two-decade-old marriage. Soon, they were blessed with an adorable daughter. Her job demanded her to travel a lot and she could hardly give time to her daughter and husband. Though she enjoyed travelling and socialising, it was getting too tough and mechanical. She realised that she needed to take life a bit easy and take care of her adorable daughter and doting husband. On a fine day, she decided to travel ticking off the bucket lists with her family rather than travelling for the job. She quit her job when she was at the peak of her career and started to enjoy her life with family to the fullest.

January 2015 took a different turn in her life. Urvi had gone for her regular health check-up and she was diagnosed with 2nd stage of breast cancer. It was a shocking revelation. She was all alone when she came to know this. Her husband was out of India on a business tour and her school-going daughter was too young to comprehend. Her perfect life came crashing down.

Urvi also fell into the emotional upheaval that grips many other cancer victims. Thousand of thoughts crossed her mind about her daughter, her husband and her life ahead. But she decided to be brave and Ms.Urvi Sabnis, from Ahmedabad, our next Real-Life Manikarnika.accept this fact. More so, none in her family accepted her plight as easily as she did. Urvi understood that it was imperative to take the focus away from these frantic feelings and swift it towards the recovery. She drew all her inner source of strength and sought God’s omnipresent blessings to accomplish this. Her daughter was extremely upset. She, being a kid could not apprehend the situation. Urvi counselled her daughter and advised her that “You have to take care of yourself and your studies. Only then I can focus on my treatment and recover fast”. Though Urvi put forth a brave and matured approach, there were so many unanswered questions lingering in her mind too.

Treatment went on for seven months which included mastectomy along with breast reconstruction surgery (a nine long hour surgery) and six sessions of chemotherapy. Urvi had no words to explain how she felt about hair loss, the most distressing side effects of chemotherapy. During the fifth chemo cycle, she developed ulcers in her stomach. It was more painful than labour pain. Whatever she would eat, she threw up as her stomach could not hold it. She lost consciousness. She was admitted to the emergency ward. There was no surety that she would survive. Then, a miracle happened, and she came out of this trauma alive.

Urvi had cancer, but cancer did not have her. Seven months of chemotherapy and seven long months of stay at home. Urvi decided to deploy this phase to fulfil her dreams. She learnt music, watched every single ball of 2015 world cup cricket match, and many movies. She designed her look with a bald head, big earrings and royal dressing in such a way that it became a fashion statement. She made herself look so beautiful that none could, looking at her tell that she was a cancer victim. She handled the treatment and her emotions well. She knew that her husband and daughter would break down if she let her emotions flow. She spoke everything under the sun, but her emotions to them.
Ms.Urvi Sabnis, from Ahmedabad, our next Real-Life Manikarnika.
Once Urvi asked her doctor How much time do I have?" The doctor said, “85% of people live at least 5 years". Urvi replied, “Fine, I have 5 years to live and I would live it to the fullest”. She could truly appreciate the beauty of life and it is this positive approach that made Urvi recover completely from cancer.

The brush with cancer spurred Urvi. She felt that she was not the only one who is affected and not many were as fortunate as she was, in terms of strength and monetary matters. Urvi decided to serve society. With guidelines of her doctors, she undertook the counselling of distraught patients and their families, helping them to come in terms with cancer and advising them how to deal with it. She also collects funds for the financially distressed patients and aids them for the expensive treatments.

Urvi has counselled hundreds of patients until now and wishes to help many more. In this journey, she had once prepared a patient to fight this deadly disease who had made up her mind to commit suicide.

During the treatment, patients lose their appetite. Family members also get upset after a point. Urvi takes pleasure to feed such patients. Once a week, she conducts culinary workshops to teach recipes to the family members of patients. Recipes had ingredients that are easily available and affordable and that are easy to make, nutritious and tasty. Soon her recipe book will be published.

Apart from this, she works on preventive oncology. Urvi also holds workshops in schools to create awareness among the children about tobacco, alcohol, drugs etc.

Urvi’s service, bravery and achievements were covered by media -
• Leading Daily Divya Bhaskar published an article on her
• She was featured in Women of Courage. – “Urvi Sabnis’s fight with cancer goes beyond the horizon of courage”
• She was the face of the campaign ‘Celebrating life after Cancer’. One cannot miss out the hoarding featuring her if you travel to Ahmedabad.
• Jamnagar Medical college has launched a book – “Re-Start, Nayi Umang Nayi Asha”. It has 10 chapters and one of them is about Urvi.
• Appearing on the pages of “Humans of Ahmedabad”

Ms.Urvi Sabnis, from Ahmedabad, our next Real-Life Manikarnika.When I spoke to Urvi and was commending and complimenting her positive attitude and her braveness to fight this grave disease, she said “My husband and my daughter are the unsung heroes of my cancer journey. They supported me in all possible ways. Without the overwhelming support of her husband, this journey would have been impossible. Even today, I have his unconditional support in doing all these social services. My daughter learnt to cook at that very early age. I still recollect those days when I could not get up from bed at all and my daughter would make soup for me around 5.30am. Her daughter managed her studies very well too and excelled in her board exams despite all the turmoil in the family”.

Urvi is a woman of Courage and Commitment. Today, she can perfectly stand up-side-down to exhibit her physical fitness and calm her daughter cheerfully who still shivers whenever the ambulance sirens.

I always wonder why the language used around "Cancer" sounds like wartime or military language "He fought cancer bravely" or "She is a warrior who survived cancer"!! I guess it is because these cancer patients precisely fight a battle. They bump heads with the emotions, lock horns with the traumatic pain, give no quarters to the disfigure caused due to the treatment and once they conquer this disease, they are constantly wrestling the fear and anxiety of getting it back again. Certainly, this is bravery beyond the horizon.  And Ms Urvi Sabnis has taken this battle to a next level. She has committed herself to serve the cancer patients through counselling and boost their morale for the rest of her life.

“I suppose that one could consider my achievements to be a material success or my battle with an indomitable disease. But for me, my true accomplishment lies in the realization of a cause worth working for. There may be many strangers in my life who made small acts of kindness towards me. Perhaps I am repaying all those deeds by giving back to a society that could use some hope and some love”, says our Real-Life Manikarnika, Ms Urvi Sabnis.

Kudos! Ms Urvi. We salute you for your courage and commitment. You have taught us the real meaning of this quote – “When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show the life that you have 1000 reasons to smile”.

If you have missed reading our earlier articles of this series"Celebrating the Real-Life Manikarnika(s)", click the links below -

Ms Sangita Marda, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Ms Tiffany Brar, Trivandrum, Kerala

Ms Vibha Sharma, Delhi


Comments (20)

Aishwarya Iyengar Posted on Feb 27, 2019

This is really an inspiration ! Living and also finally getting rid of cancer successfully is a great achievement !


Social Connoisseurs Posted on Feb 27, 2019

The one thing that I love about your blog is how brilliantly you bring out the real life heroines in the limelight. Such stories are so inspiring that makes you appreciate the little things in life.


Pallavi Watermarks Posted on Feb 27, 2019

This is true inspiration.My cousin aunt was going through the same situation with courage and smile,this post reminded me of her.\r\n


Madhu Posted on Feb 27, 2019

This is so motivating and inspiring. Hatss off to her brave behaviour and the initiative that she has taken...loved the complete write up !


Sapna Amit Agarwal Posted on Feb 27, 2019

Wow..Such an inspirational story. Living and getting through cancer is tough and her survival is a example to.many.\r\n\r\


Rakhi Parsai Posted on Feb 26, 2019

This is such an brave story of this beautiful soul. I have lost my.mum to cancer so I can so feel how this lady fought with it and came out with lovely colours. Hats off to her.


Purnima Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Hates off to Ms. Urvi Sabnis for her courage and commitment. She must had inspired many fighters. I love all the real life Manikarnika\'s stories which you have shared so far. \r\n


Nisha Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Cancer is definitely a battle which a patient must fight and win to survive . Cancer survivors are definitely heros and brave heart for me.


Snigdha Prusti Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Urvi Sabnis is real fighter and a true inspiration for others. She fought ans came back from a life-threatening disease and live life amazingly .. That\'s really great..


Neha Jain Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Thanks for sharing this with me, she is such an inspiration for all who give up with small situation...she is such a brave women


Hema Gayatri Posted on Feb 26, 2019

This is such a beautiful post, very touching indeed, I love her survival spirt. It is very nice to see Urvi\'s spirit, hats off to her. Loved the read.


Mrinal Kiran Posted on Feb 26, 2019

I have no words to express my feelings... It\'s hard to deal with life threatening diseases... And accepting the situation with strength is something only a real brave heart can do! I m so inspired!


Khushboo Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Hats off to her. She is truly a hero. It\'s very heart touch story of Urvi. Very inspiring story.thanks for sharing.


Sandy N Vyjay Posted on Feb 26, 2019

The story of Urvi and her indomitable courage is really an inspiration. It is a lesson for all of us that one should not surrender however overwhelming the odds against us are.


Jhilmil Posted on Feb 26, 2019

What a brilliant post this is, Urvi is an inspiration that cancer cannot break the passion from the survivor. Hats off to her and her husband in making her fight it.


Gurjeet Chhabra Posted on Feb 26, 2019

truly heart touch story. Its not easy to fight with such situation and disease when you know you have just 5 year left to live life. Indeed Urvi you are a warrior


Manisha Garg Posted on Feb 26, 2019

I was emotional reading this post leaving me in tears. Cancer doesnt affect one person but the whole family. Having seen it personally with my father I really salute all patients and their spirit. We need to be positive in life and good things will begin.


Noor Anand Chawla Posted on Feb 26, 2019

Urvi Sabnis is an inspiration to all of us. She battled a life-threatening disease while living life to the fullest! Kudos to her!


Sangeeta Posted on Feb 25, 2019

I\'ve seen family friends and people even in the family suffer from cancer. It is not the disease that takes them away but the battle. It is nice to see that Urvi despite all odds is still making a difference in the lives of people around her. Hats off to her.


Uma Posted on Feb 25, 2019

Excellent and i swear i am crying while giving this review. Thanks Urvi for sharing your inspiring journey and thanks to Jayanthi to sum it so well. Hats off to this brave Manikarnuka - Urvi. Last but not the keast three cheers to Urvi’s husband and daughter Anjali.


Jayanti Ramnath

Ketchupmoms, as the name goes, is a one-stop roof to catchup with your life and rejuvenate your insights. We are extremely delighted but a little perplexed as usual. Delighted, because of the quality

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