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A bright red saree with a white tulle veil and Mehendi adorning her delicate hands and feet, Vaishnavi is photographed as one of the most beautiful Indian brides; a moment when she won the hearts of millions. However, what makes her stand out from hundred other brides, is the story of her fight against cancer, which is a sheer inspiration for millions of cancer patients who feel that they’ve got no hopes left. Vaishnavi Poovanedran would now better be known as Navi Indran Pillai after her powerful photo series on Instagram of ‘Bold Indian Bride’ went viral.

Poovanedran, an Indian-origin Malaysian, is a motivational speaker and dancer. She took to popular social media platform Instagram (@naviindranpillai) to share her bridal photoshoot, which was clicked by photographer Celes Gerard, to help cancer survivors realize that ‘the human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it’ and not even cancer can overpower that undaunted human spirit.

She is a survivor of breast cancer who truly stands by what her Instagram bio says—what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. In one of her posts she wrote, “For me, as a cancer survivor, I dreamt the day I marry the love of my life. Dreamt, what it is like to look like a bride, to feel like a bride. Having gone through cancer treatments (chemotherapy, etc.), losing my hair was by far the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I felt that I was not beautiful enough to be loved and was not beautiful enough to look or ever feel like a bride. Hair, it is our 'crowning glory' and having that taken away from you is devastating. But we choose to accept what we have, appreciate what we are and welcome what is coming. So here it is, *Bold Indian Bride*”

Not just once, but twice she had to face the perils of Cancer. Poovanedran again had to fight cancer when it was found to have spread to her liver and backbone after five years. After intensive treatments and sessions of chemotherapy, she achieved victory once again in 2018. “Cancer treatments have given us a lot of limitations, robbed us of beauty and taken away our confidence. As little girls, we have always dreamt of what our big day will be like and how we would look like as a bride,” wrote Poovanedran who is now an epitome of hope and motivation for cancer survivors.

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