A Beacon of Hope: Ashma Moosa
By BAHW Editorial Staff
Ashma Moosa stands with the many other courageous women who have fought and continue to fight cancer. She has won this battle twice in her life and, from these experiences, has learned the importance of the rails of friendship and support along that difficult road.
In her own words “my life and my perfect little world changed overnight when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005 at the age of 42. Then in 2010, at the age of 47, I was faced with breast cancer. When I tell people cancer was a blessing my life, they really think that I have gone mad! I walked this journey embracing faith, dignity, and pride. I never gave up hope. The most important thing for me was to make sure my children were taken care of and that they would not be scared . . . my husband and I decided that God has given us the opportunity to turn this into a positive experience in our lives. This was our chance to teach them (and others) to be strong and never give up hope.” She goes on to explain that one important way she has been able to give back after her own fight has been to stand next to others as they walk the long road.
“As I have moved along my journey with cancer, never questioning “why me?” I have found my true purpose in life. Now I take one day off a week and volunteer my time at MD Anderson to pass my light of hope on to others walking this difficult journey. I have met so many beautiful people, true survivors, with hearts of gold. I tell them to never lose hope, find your purpose in life, go for it and create!”
When illness enters a life, one must decide how to make sense or meaning of it. For many, this process takes some time, but ultimately, all will have to decide which path to climb; one of hope and triumph or the other of fear and failure. Tapping into her faith, her family, and other support systems, Ashma took the high road – not only to win her own fight, but to help others, as well. Erik Erickson, a noted American Psychologist who served as a professor at Harvard and Yale universities, described this process as “generativity” or turning one’s time, attention, and talents to others.
Ashma has been recognized for her efforts to lift and inspire others in their journey and fight against cancer. In 2015, she was awarded the IMAGH’s community service award, which reads, “She rose like a phoenix from the ashes with renewed vigor, devoting herself to helping patients and survivors of cancer. She became a volunteer at MD Anderson Cancer Center logging over 700 hours as a volunteer and later became the chairperson for the MD Anderson Survivorship Conference.”
Ashma and her family continue to volunteer their time at the charity clinic that she and her husband founded, along with other physicians in the Houston Area. Further, she has organized free or low cost mobile mammography camps, and continues her fight by working with local oncologists and plastic surgeons, connecting personally with countless people after their diagnosis of cancer.
Ashma, you are an inspiration to us at BAHW and are changing the lives of countless others in your work. We thank you for sharing your story and your heart with us!