MEREONI Taginidavui is a living testimony of one healed from the killer disease cancer that has claimed the lives of many women in Fiji.
Currently in Vanua Levu volunteering with the UN Women, Mrs Taginidavui told about 100 women gathered at the recent Punjas Labasa Cancer Morning tea that God healed her.
“Nothing else but God and prayers healed me.
“I have always depended on the word of God and my verse is Psalms chapter 118 verse 17 which says ‘I am not going to die but I am going to live to declare the good works of the Lord’.”
Turning 51 next month the mother of four, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 while visiting the US, said she was cleared of the disease in 2005.
“Beauty is not about having two perfect breasts but it is about having a clean heart that is ready to face whatever the future throws your way.
“Upon receiving the news I had first reacted as any normal person would, scared and not knowing what to do or who to turn to,” said Mrs Taginidavui.
“However, the support from my family was enormous and this was the very bond that kept me sane through the trying period.”
Mrs Taginidavui said it was difficult breaking the news to her friends and close associates but her favourite Bible verse empowered her to get the job done and tell people anyway.
“I found solace in this Bible chapter and things unravelled themselves at the right time and people learnt of my condition. “At first I was given the silent treatment by those that did not understand the disease but it was the way that I acted that drew people back to me and I remained positive above all else that was happening in my life,” Mrs Taginidavui said.
“I acted as if nothing was wrong and I believe that cancer patients have a big role to play when it comes to their acceptance in society, for instance if they played vulnerable then they would be treated as such.”
But in the midst of her journey in fighting off odds, she learnt that those she loved and close to her heart were also affected by what she went through.
“And it takes a while for them to recoil from the event before they can accept us back into their lives,” she said.
Mrs Taginidavui has also encouraged husbands and fathers to support their wives and daughters who suffer from cancer.
She said it was up to individual patient’s behaviour to determine the reception they would get from their loved ones.
“Now I count myself a blessing to others with the same ailment and to those that do not have it because since I became an advocate I have been opening people’s eyes on the disease and people have learnt a lot from my experiences,” said Mrs Taginidavui.
“Awareness is important and I thank the Cancer Society for using me as an active advocate of early detection and the treatability of cancer,” said Mrs Taginidavui.