Laleh Busheri, is the CEO of a Prashanti Cancer Care Mission (PCCM), a non-profit NGO working in Pune, India since 1996.
PCCM began because there were patients who quit treatment midway or didn’t start at all simply because they couldn’t afford it. Irony of the fact was that a number of these patients could have been successfully treated. Prashanti was born due to the unfulfilled needs of departed Cancer patients, care givers, survivors, volunteers and doctors touched by cancer!
Laleh hails from the royal family of Persia (presently Iran), a direct descendant of the Qajar dynasty and a great-grandniece of Sultan Mohammed Shah, Aga Khan III, 48th Imam of Ismaih Shias. Her educational background includes a Bachelor in Law (L.L.B) followed by a Master’s degree (L.L.M) at University of Mumbai for which she was awarded a training fellowship.
To pursue her true passion and acumen for social work, Laleh started counseling and helping needy cancer patients and families at PCCM. With the help of like-minded kind souls, she has been able to expand the outreach of Prashanti Mission activities to a much larger and wider scale. Today, Laleh is friend-in-chief of this well-established and reputed NGO that provides free or affordable diagnosis, medical treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy), patient support and rehabilitation to cancer patients and their families from various social and financial strata. PCCM touches the lives of over 30,000 cancer affected families in Pune and its surroundings every year.
In 2009 she has established, and is involved in day-to-day operations of Orchid’s Breast Health Center in Pune. This state-of-the-art facility has gained reputation as being a one-of-a-kind integrated Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer in India, for its unmatched medical expertise, sophisticated infrastructure and treatment protocols. A multidisciplinary team of Oncosurgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, Physicians, Nurses, Patient Counselors and Nutritionists work together to provide internationally established standards of medical care to Breast Cancer patients. Of the approximately 35,000+ women visiting the center every year, close to 850 patients undergo Breast Cancer surgery and subsequent treatment. Orchids Center has unmatched technological capabilities for faster and effective detection of Breast Cancer.
Under the auspices of PCCM, Laleh is instrumental in starting the first breast cancer marathon, “Our Marathon” in Pune, where over 15000 participants run for the cause. She has lead the creation of 3 state-of-the-art Mobile Breast Cancer Screening Vans fully equipped with mammography machine and facilities for biopsy and Pap smear procedures. With the help of these vans Prashanti Mission has been able to screen over thousands of women & will be screening approximately 40,000 women this year.
Laleh is also founder member of the first Pink Ribbon Support Group in Pune & a program for onco counseling that is a support group for breast cancer patients and their caregivers. The group hand holds them through the bewildering maze of challenges the disease brings to its wake. With the help of her large network of friends, well wishers and empathetic individuals, this club conducts local workshops, annual scientific symposia and fund-raising activities to spread awareness about breast cancer in local communities.
PCCM has now embarked on an ambitious program for early detection of woman cancer in the city. The women cancer screening project in Pune will also allow large scale population-based data collection which will allow identification of prevalence of the cancers across various socio-economic strata of the society. This project will also involve determining the clinical and social impact of a population screening program in a large India city. Findings from this study will be useful to various stake holders such as the individual member of society, NGOs, philanthropic funding bodies, governmental health agencies as well as policy makers. By collection of meaningful data from the participating women, it will also be possible to establish an urban epidemiology study cohort in Pune city for identifying risk factors, genetics, progression and disease surveillance of women cancers on a community scale in the Indian context.
She also started and heads the Research and Training wing at PCCM. This wing has undertaken the following initiatives:
She has been richly felicitated by many National and International Awards; some being:
2012 "Ray of Hope"by the Asian Breast Cancer Congress for her commitment
2014 Tejaswani award by the Rotary for her exemplary services and touching the lives of many
2015 The Citadel Award for excellence in the field
2015 She has been received the Femina Powerlist woman of the year for Maharashtra
2015 Premium Award Inner Wheel for exceptional work in the field of Cancer.
2017 Icons of Pune Women” by Lokmat
2017 Women Entrepreneurship Award” by Bharat Nirman
2018 Times of india “Womans Icon Award “for social service
2018 Exceptional woman of Excellence award by the woman’s economic forum at The Hague Netherlands March
2018 Woman Icon Summit & awards Singapore for contribution in the field of healthcare and cancer care
2018 Pune’s most powerful 2018-19
2019 Legacies: The Changemakers – Inspiring the Future 2019 by Vascon
2019 V Awards: Healthcare Category
2019 Outstanding Achievements by Woman TV
Ms. Laleh has also authored a book titled “Triumph Over Breast Cancer – Odysseys of Phenomenal Women”. With an intention to raise awareness about breast cancer. The book is heartfelt recording of the private chronicles of 23 women who successfully faced and overcame, what could well be the biggest health challenge of their lives. In each of the stories, there is phenomenal learning from the mistakes and experiences of each of these women who come from different backgrounds. These stories also reveal themes about increasing awareness, providing correct information about diagnosis and treatment protocols and gold standards of surgery including the importance of breast conservation and oncoplasty. The book is among the Amazon Bestsellers list.
She has been applauded nationally and internationally for empowering woman for breast care and cancer.
She has put Prashanti on a national map with marathons, international workshops, speaking at international forums and has established a unique centre of excellence in Orchids Breast Health
In her spare time, Laleh loves travelling & the company of friends who make her laugh and fulfill her unquenchable thirst for knowledge .She is also Indian Editor-in-Chief for an International Magazine ''Prive Asia'' Laleh has also been trained as a Bharatnatyam dancer trained for ten years under the tutelage of legendary danseuse Guru Satyawati.
When asked about her motivational credo for the role she plays at Prashanti Mission, Laleh humbly says “God has given me a chance to answer prayers of a suffering soul and I am blessed to be in a position to help or arrange help in any way I can. It is humbling to counsel a poor, lonely woman undergo her surgery or first chemotherapy session when she cannot even find words to articulate her apprehensions and mental turmoil. While it may make a world of difference to her life, in some ways, it makes a difference in my life too because it teaches me each time the infinite power of love and humility. Thanks to Prashanti Mission, my life is unimaginably enriched as I sleep and wake up every day with a renewed sense of purpose”.