5-year-old Harshita is a bright, friendly little girl. Her big, curious eyes are always looking for a new game to play. She is full of ideas and enjoys colouring. Today, her mother is struggling to save the little one's life.
My name is Nithya. I am presently the sole breadwinner of the house. I work as an associate at a firm and earn Rs. 20,000 a month. It is with this salary that I take care of my husband, my 12-year-old son and my 5-year-old daughter.
My elder son is suffering from DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). His condition worsens as he grows up. He had to discontinue school last year so that he could undergo physiotherapy. My husband even quit his job to take care of him. It was around the same time that my daughter started falling ill. We could never have guessed what waited for us on the other side.
It started as a small fever:
When Harshita developed a fever last year, we consulted a nearby doctor. She was given medicines, but they hardly helped. When her condition started getting worse in January 2017, we rushed her to a hospital. It was here that they got a diagnosis for the little one’s condition. Harshita was suffering from ALL(Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia), a type of Cancer. This changed our life forever.
Cancer, it’s a word we fear to even utter. We are simple people, struggling to make ends meet with a single income. Our basic expenses are for food, education and regular things like this. Even the thought of having to spend 50% of my income on just medication makes me shudder. My son needs constant medical attention as well. He cannot even walk. On the other hand my baby daughter is battling death.
For all these months, we have somehow been juggling, just trying to make sure we can save both of them, but now the bills are piling up, and I have no resources left to draw from. My husband is torn between helplessness and grief.
Harshitha needs your help:
My 5-year-old looks at me with a million questions in her eyes. She goes to the hospital, and loses herself in playing with the other children in the ward. If they are not there, she feels scared and starts crying. How do I tell her, what has happened to her? How do I tell her what Cancer is, and what it can do to her?