This event is made possible by grants from Dr. Dash Foundation
India Association Of Minnesota

India Association of Minnesota (IAM) organized Pink Garba on Saturday October 30 at 5 p.m. at the Maple Grove Central Park Phenow Pavilion at 12000 Central Park Way, Maple Grove, MN 55369. Pink Garba is IAM’s first breast cancer awareness event. Garba is an Indian dance performed during Navaratri in October to honor womanhood. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. “Pink Garba” is the melding of celebratory dance and the sharing of women’s stories of strength and survival.


Significance: The National Cancer Institute estimates that one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer incidence and death rates generally increase with age, with the majority of new cases and breast cancer deaths occurring in women age 40 and older. Breast cancer is also on the rise in brown women, including Indian women.


Education and awareness: The Pink Garba initiative supporting breast cancer awareness encourages women to adopt the life-saving practices of regular self-examinations, clinical breast exams and mammograms and helps them recognize there is a supportive community behind them. A panel of experts will discuss prevention, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and respond to questions from the audience. There will be a fun trivia and Q&A session with prizes.


Social Support: A breast cancer diagnosis can bring a wide range of emotions including shock, fear, sadness and anger. The support of family, friends and others can be helpful in the journey through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Social support is the emotional support, practical help, advice and other benefits from interactions with people, including family members, friends, spiritual advisors, co-workers, health care providers and other cancer survivors. This year’s Pink Garba event aims to build a strong and supportive community of women to unite to honor cancer survivors, raise awareness about reducing cancer risk, and raise money to bring hope to cancer patients.


Event Media Sponsor: Mera Sangeet 

Date/Time: Oct 30th, 2021, 5PM onwards

Location: Maple Grove Central Park Phenow Pavilion.

Attire: Attendees should wear pink

Program details: 

 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Social hour, appetizers, music and pink fashion show

6:00 PM - 6:40 PM - Panel discussion

6:45 PM - 7:30 PM - Garba and Bollywood Dance:

  • Dr. Avanti Mehrotra


    Dr Avanti Mehrotra serves on staff at North Memorial Health Cancer Care Center.  Dr Mehrotra got her medical degree from Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi University, India. She completed her Internal medicine residency and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI where she also received awards for Outstanding performance in Internal medicine and Emergency medicine.  She is published in peer review journals and participates in Clinical trials through MMCORC.  Dr Mehrotra is a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology and Minnesota Society of Clinical Oncology.  She is board certified in Hematology and Medical Oncology 


    Dr. Mehrotra has been in practice for more than 15 years and is highly reputed in the Oncology community.  She has been in the Top Docs for Women and Top Docs in Oncology in MN monthly repeatedly.  Her professional specialties include all medical oncology and hematology with special emphasis on Breast Cancer, Multiple Myeloma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Pregnancy associated Hematological Conditions.  She is the Medical oncology leader for Multidisciplinary Breast cancer care at North Memorial.  She serves on the Breast committee and Oncology Pharmacy committee.  In her previous role as the Medical director of the cancer center, she was the chairperson of the Cancer Committee.


    Dr Mehrotra feels passionately about taking care of Cancer patients.  During the process, she likes to focus on integrative medicine and takes a holistic approach towards overall care of the patient with the goal of complete physical and emotional well-being.  She is a dedicated and caring physician who communicates very well with people to make a strong team to advocate for her patients.  Patients appreciate her thoughtfulness and sincerity.  Her ultimate goal is successful survivorship with empowerment of patients and families, alike. 


    She is married and has two sons.  In her spare time she enjoys hiking, biking, creative dancing, playing basketball and traveling to historic places with her family.

  • Sherry L.M.Meriam

    Sherry L.M. Merriam, MA, LPCC, TCHI

    Sherry is a licensed counselor, clinical supervisor, and certified tai chi instructor.  She manages Iridescent Care Collaborative in Minneapolis.  Her specialties include working with chronic illness and physical disability, and her background includes working with Indian and Indian American people in mental health and medical education

  • Clive Olive

    Oncology nurse and breast cancer survivor:

    “My name is Cindy Olive. I am a collaborative practice

    oncology nurse at Regions Cancer Care Center. It is my

    passion to guide my patients through their breast cancer



    My confidence in my ability to understand and empathize

    with breast cancer patients has been high because of my

    over 30 years of working with them.


    That was until I became a breast cancer patient myself. I

    am a survivor. I quickly found out how scared and

    vulnerable one becomes when fighting this disease. But

    we are not alone.


    And now I am even more passionate about being there for

    others. Please, let’s all champion the life-saving message

    of Early Detection.”

  • Linda Christinsen Rengel

    Linda Christinsen-Rengel APRN, CNP

    "I am a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner practicing in the Breast Health Center at Regions


    I obtained my Masters of Science in Nursing as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner from the

    University of Minnesota.

    My specialty area is caring for women with breast concerns.

    I work with women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, helping them understand their

    diagnosis, make appointments with caregivers and for additional testing and provide care and

    support for them on their cancer journey.


    I also work with women with a family history of breast cancer, helping them understand their

    breast cancer risk and developing a plan for prevention and appropriate imaging and testing."

  • Shefali/Aditya Gupta


    "Some of you may know me and many of you probably don't.  So let me introduce myself here.

    I am Shefali Gupta. My Husband, Aditya Gupta and I have 3 wonderful children. 

    Our 2 older kids are young adults in college and our youngest is a 10 year old naughty boy. 


    Our family belongs to Ambala , Haryana in India.  We have been living in MN for the past 20+ years. 

    I completed my Masters from University of St. Thomas and am currently working in US Bank for the past 6 years. 


    Summer 2020 I got diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  My whole family and friends were my support pillars during my tough journey. Today I am a proud Breast Cancer Survivor. 


    After my ordeal with this beast of a disease, I am dedicated to support and help any person who may be going through this.  So, reach out to me anytime if I can help answer any questions in this area.  Hope I can help you even a little bit.... because every little bit can be a big help for someone who is going through it."


    'Cancer Survivors, fix each other's Scarves'


  • Vasuda/Devendra Balyan


    Some of you might already know me. For those who don't know me , I am Vasudha Balyan. I have been living in Chaska, Minnesota with my husband Davender Balyan and two wonderful boys Bharat & Arjun for more than 25 years.  I am a Senior software engineer (contractor) & currently working for Robert HalfTechnology. I am also  a board member of Chance Foundation. My husband is the vice president of IT at US Bank & was former President of Chance Foundation & founding board member. I have a Master’s degree in computer applications(MCA) from Engineering college Gwalior. 

    I was born and brought up in the historic city Gwalior, India. My husband is from Haryana & was brought up in Delhi. My dad was a divisional  engineer in BSNL & my mom was a teacher in Central school. I  follow BK Shivani and I am spiritual and have relied on my faith in all aspects of life.

    In September 2017 , I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was done with my treatment in July 2018. I am a proud breast Cancer survivor . I got lots of support from my husband, friends & family. After my ordeal with this deadly disease, I am dedicated to support and help any person who may be going through this.  So, reach out to me or my husband Davender anytime, if we can help & answer any questions in this area. We would love to help however we can.

    I firmly believe in "Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” — Charles Swindoll