World Rose Day is observed on September 22 every year with an intention to bring a smile to the faces of people suffering from cancer.
It is also marked as a day to spread awareness about the disease and is for the welfare of cancer patients. On this occasion, hand-made roses, gifts, and cards are usually offered to cancer patients to spread hope and cheer into their lives as they face the fierce battle.
About Melinda Rose
Going back to history, the day is observed in the memory of a 12-year-old girl Melinda Rose. Hailing from Canada, Rose was diagnosed with Askin's Tumour, which is a form of rare blood cancer.
The little girl's willpower and the spirit to live has inspired millions across the globe to fight the disease. After her diagnosis, the doctors had given her a few weeks to live, however, she lived for six months. Rose did not give up till her last breath. During the last phase of her life, she continued to fight the disease and made each day worth living by impacting the lives of those around her in a positive manner.
She used to write letters and e-mails to cancer patients to instill a sense of confidence in them and spread happiness.
Fighting The Disease
As per her family's statement, the doctors treating Rose had no protocol for the rare Askin's Tumour. She was admitted to the hospital for more than four months and received 'high strength' chemotherapy. During this period, she was allowed to visit home for a short afternoon break. She used to encounter complications and return to the hospital most of the time.
In September 1994, the doctors started giving her intensive radiation therapy, reaching her maximum limit of exposure to the medicine. But despite all these hardships and pain, she insisted on going to school.
Unfortunately, complications put Rose back in the hospital, and eventually, doctors decided to stop the treatment as her body could not tolerate chemotherapy anymore.
After the doctors found that the treatment was doing more harm than good, she was eventually sent home where she would be more comfortable. In July 1996, she insisted on going to Camp Goodtimes for a week, where the nurses provided her 24-hour care.
Rose spent a lot of her time comforting and counselling other young cancer patients and their caregivers. Several times she was the only one who could bring a shell-shocked cancer kid out of the protective cocoon that they sometimes throw around themselves. The young girl never gave up and continued to fight until September 15, 1996, when she succumbed to the dreadful disease.
Her zest for life, her spirit to live, her never-ending hope, and genuine caring let her achieve what many people only ever dream about - she reached out and restarted other people's hearts.
The way Melinda Rose inspired other people, World Rose Day is a reminder to give back to cancer patients by spending quality time with them and bringing joy to their lives.