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By Wang Zhenghua | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2017-08-28 07:04


In 2008, the club organized a trip for about 200 members, who traveled to Beijing to attend the Summer Olympics. WU XIAOYAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Psychological aids

In 2015, an examination revealed that He Jiangping had gastric signet-ring cell carcinoma.

The illness had developed so far that He was told she only had about three months left to live.

Even though she was diagnosed in March when the weather was warm, He, who usually disliked thick clothes, felt so cold inside that she bought two down jackets, a hat and a pair of gloves. Now, the 55-year-old Shanghai resident realizes that the clothes were a form of psychological aid.

"It should have been a wonderful time. I should have been enjoying life with my son and my husband, who had been running his own business for about five years," she said. "I couldn't understand why this misfortune had happened to me."

When she wasn't attending chemotherapy sessions, He isolated herself in her apartment. However, her life changed when she read a newspaper article about the Shanghai Cancer Recovery Club and decided to join.

She attended a party to welcome newcomers, and was touched when she saw older members singing and dancing on the stage.

"I couldn't believe they had cancer," she said. The spectacle encouraged her to reject despair and embrace a new life.

She bought books and magazines about medicine, nutrition and plant-based remedies, and took up new activities such as playing piano and learning to do makeup. She even began to enjoy housework and anything else that provided a new interest and helped her to relish life again.

"I take part in every activity the club organizes, despite my busy job," said He, who works as a manager for a company in Shanghai. She is now the club's vice-president and, as a member of the dance troupe, she performs, gives inspirational speeches and visits patients in hospitals.

What little free time she has is devoted to traveling with friends: "Life is about giving, sharing and creating; this is what I have learned from my years in the club."

Ye Zhenghe, who was diagnosed with liver cancer 27 years ago, said the club has given her fresh impetus to survive. "My life is uplifting and fulfilled when I meet other members who are engaged in the fight positively," she said.

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