High of dream job shattered by cancer

High of dream job shattered by cancer
Mrs Shilpi Atri with her husband Mr Saurav Atri.
PHOTO: The New Paper

Fairy tales sometimes do come true.

And Prince Charming exists and you will meet him when you least expect it.

That was pretty much the case with Mrs Shilpi Dahiya Atri, 31.

Born and raised in Haryana, India, she became a Singapore Airlines flight attendant in 2007 and enjoyed her career.

But in May 2013, her world collapsed after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

She subsequently had two operations - to remove a cyst and an ovary and fallopian tube. She did not have to undergo chemotherapy as her cancer was detected in its earlier stages.

"I still have one ovary but I have to go for check-ups every three months and take the cancer marker test," Mrs Atri told The New Paper.

In August 2013, after recovering for a few months in Mumbai, she returned to Singapore to get back into the swing of things.

LOVE

Mrs Atri attended a social gathering with some friends, but looking for love was the last thing on her mind.

"At that time, I didn't want to get married. I deleted that from my mind and removed all expectations of finding a husband who would accept me for who I am," she said.

"Why would anyone want to marry someone with health problems that could come back at any time in life?"

Enter Mr Saurav Atri from Delhi.

The 32-year-old director of talent sourcing, who attended Mrs Singapore & Classic Mrs Singapore press conference with his wife last Saturday, told TNP he approached her at another gathering months before.

He was smitten but backed off because he mistakenly thought she was married.

When he saw her the second time, he cleared the air with her about her marital status and the rest is history.

The couple, who are both applying for Singapore permanent residency, got married at the end of 2014.

Mrs Atri, who quit flying after marriage and is now a life coach and image consultant, is not bothered by the fact that they might not be able to have children due to her condition.

"I think there is so much more to life. Not having kids is not the end," she said.

"I realised that if I am living every day, especially with him, life is so beautiful as it is and kids would just be an added blessing.

"I want to inspire women because when I was in the hospital bed, I thought my life was over and I would never recover from my problems.

"But I know now that a lot of people are stuck but they don't want to get up. With determination, passion and courage, I think anybody, if they have hope, can achieve anything."

natmeah@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 5, 2016.
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