Nagaland : Tale Of A Brave Cancer Survivor’s Successful Stint In Entrepreneurship

Posted in Featured, Nagaland, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

Cancer – a complication that leaves severe economic impact and considered a leading cause of deaths since decades teaches the journey of hope. “The will to live” have always been fascinating to individuals across the globe, but the same wish stands as a challenge during times when millions have been encompassed with despair.

Such an overwhelming story of ‘hope’ depicts the life of Cheryl Kire Achumi, who have punched all odds associated with this deadly disease and embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship.

Story of Cheryl is truly inspiring when cancer diagnosis and its repercussions are taken into account.

Born and brought up in Dimapur, Cheryl pursued a course in Hospitality Management and later obtained a Bachelors degree in English.

Everything was so perfect and life seemed beautiful until May 2014 – the year Cheryl was informed of been diagnosed with cancer.

“After the cancer was detected and I was told about it, my whole world came crashing down,” she recalled during an interview with Morung Express.

“At first, I could hardly even believe that something like that could happen to me. However, after some time, I had no other option but to accept the harsh reality.” – Cheryl further added.

The cruel reminder of mortality only pushed her to fight harder towards recovery.

But the reminder could not stop her will to move ahead. She took up few jobs in the hospitality sector, before deciding to switch to telecom industry by joining the then Aircel in 2005.

But later she left her job to pursue full-time entrepreneurship. Mother of two children, Cheryl faced the difficult phase of her life after the diagnosis.

According to Morung Express report, Cheryl had to undergo 3 clinical operations, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 rounds of radiotherapy, which encountered her with unbearable pain, and causing severe anxiety.

After gaining weight, she decided to visit various gyms in Dimapur city but was left dismayed, after discovering the scenario.

The lack of proper amenities or trainers left her for working-out at home under the supervision of her husband Abraham Botoking – a banker by profession as well as a certified personal fitness trainer.

42-year-old Cheryl along with her banker husband, enrolled in a diploma course associated with sports nutrition, physical exercise, fitness and personal training in 2015.

A year later after been awarded with her certification, Cheryl established her own fitness centre called the ‘City Gym’ in 2016.

City Gym became the first-ever gym in the city with a dedicated ‘women’s fitness section’.

Co-founded by the fitness-lover couple in September 2016, the gymnasiums first centre was opened at 3rd Mile area, Dimapur.

But with growing customers demand, another location was added in 2019 in Burma Camp area, Dimapur and the enterprise had served the fitness needs off over 400 clients from in and around Dimapur.

Around the same time, she came across the Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women (Project Her&Now) programme by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Through the mission, Cheryl projected her business expansion plan, as well as on financial management skills, thereby providing linkages to financial assistance.

It is pertinent to mention that ‘Her&Now’ have been constantly supporting aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs across the nation.

Based on the experiences of several pilot programmes, the project works together with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) and state-level institutions on designing gender-sensitive government support schemes for such women-led enterprises.

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