"Our family would bring my brother cooked homemade meals three times a day. And seeing my brother’s experience, in comparison to others, made me know I wanted to get involved with helping people."
Since 2017, Asha has been a Macmillan Buddy. When she first started, she would visit people living with cancer in the community or at their home to offer support.
"I have been matched with several people over the years. Every person needs something different from you, and the relationships you develop are all different too.
"One of the ladies I supported had a lovely garden so we used to enjoy that together. I would cook some food for her to enjoy later, make her a brew and have a chat.
"Another lady I supported loved going out and about so we used to go for afternoon tea and walks around Windsor."
"I really love that I can speak to people from all over the UK."
During the pandemic, Asha began to support people over the phone.
"Now I am supporting people over the phone and I really love that I can speak to people from all over the UK.
"Sometimes when I am on the phone with a person, we will actually make a brew together at the same time so it feels like you’re more connected!"
When Asha's brother was diagnosed with cancer, it was the first time someone in her family had cancer.
"Nobody understood it - it was a big taboo. My brother passed away in 2017 and my mum who is quite modern and educated still won’t say that he died of cancer."
However Asha has said becoming a Macmillan volunteer has helped her family and others in her community to be more open about cancer.
"As well as being a Macmillan volunteer, I also run a support group for people with breast cancer in the Asian community. There’s a lot of myths out there that need to be challenged. A lot of Asian people will suffer in silence and not come forward so I say to them, ‘you’ve got to break the taboo’."
Regarding being a volunteer, Asha said: "Give it a try. As a volunteer you will learn a lot, and it opens your eyes to lots of things that you don’t realise."
"There's a lot of myths [about cancer] that need to be challenged."