Determined is an apt description of Navi Indran Pillai, who beat cancer not once but two times in her life. The brave and spirited 29-year-old from Shah Alam, Selangor, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 when she was 22.

Her dreams, one of which was to become a classical Indian dancer, was put on hold as she underwent aggressive treatment to battle the illness. She beat the disease in 2014 and left to further her studies in Australia.

In 2018, however, Navi was told she had metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her liver and backbone. She began another round of treatment that almost broke her. But though the process was debilitating, Navi was determined to get better.

Navi is now cancer-free again, but she has to undergo lifelong treatment to stay well. The procedures are costly, so to ease her family’s financial burden, the gutsy woman is taking to the stage to dance, with guidance from her guru Guruvayur Usha Dorai.

The student of classical Indian dance hopes to raise funds through her show to help her parents pay for her medical expenses. Her performance, Dhanvantrim Nruthyam #kissedbycancer, takes place Oct 12 at Shantanand Auditorium, Temple of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur.

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