Baby Makamathi's cancer can quickly spread and turn fatal without treatmentBaby Makamathi is the only child of the young couple Kanagi and Muniyasamy. She was born healthy and was perfectly fine except that she was underweight, but the doctors said it is not a matter of concern as long as she is active. Baby Makamathi was very active and did not have any problems with her growth milestones. But in the month of May, she suddenly got a high fever that did not subside for more than 10 days. Kanagi took her to several hospitals, her haemoglobin count was drastically low and she was given blood transfusions. Yet her fever did not subside. When she took her to a hospital in Madurai, she was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukaemia, a form of cancer that occurs when a bone marrow cell develops errors in its DNA. It progresses rapidly and creates immature blood cells, rather than mature ones.
"My husband and I broke down when doctors said 'cancer'. It took days to come to terms with it. How can my princess have a such a cruel disease? Her little body is not able to bear the painful chemo and injections. Just by looking at the nurses and doctors she starts crying. It is painful to see her crying all the time. Nothing can comfort her." - Kanagi.
Despite the health issues and emotional trauma, her mother struggles all alone to save her babyJust when baby Makamathi completed her chemotherapy cycles, her cancer relapsed and this time it is even more aggressive and chemotherapy isn't enough anymore. She needs a bone marrow transplant to battle cancer. Kanagi was shattered and now she fears if her little princess will ever make it. Kanagi became pregnant again recently, but with the unexpected diagnosis of her child and all the trauma that she had to face eventually led to a miscarriage. She is both physically and emotionally exhausted. She also has diabetes that makes her tired and weak often. But now all her focus in on her baby, to save her life at any cost.
Photo taken during Baby Makamathi's first birthday
"She is not able to even drink a sip of water, I realized that it was because of her mouth sores only after the doctors told us. All she can say is 'Amma' and 'Appa'. Her little body is poked with needles everywhere. She has lost her smile, her hair is shaved, she no longer looks like herself. But all I can do is to watch her helplessly. There are times I have fainted in the hospital, but I force myself to gather all strength to look after my baby." - Kanagi.
The poor parents cannot afford the life-saving transplant for their only childKanagi's husband, Muniyasmy, is an accountant in their hometown Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu. They lived a modest life with is meager income. They saved every rupee for their child's future. They weren't prepared for this unexpected turn in their life. They have now exhausted all their savings and have borrowed 5 lakh so far from their relatives and friends. After her treatment was completed, they were prepared to start their life from scratch, but just when they were hopeful of taking her back home, they received another blow. Now, they need 16 lakh for the chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. They do not know whom to turn to help and the treatment is just beyond their means.
An old pic of baby Makamathi with her father Muniyasamy
"My husband cannot afford to take leave from his office. Now every rupee counts for us. I'm all alone in the hospital in Madurai and he is struggling back home to arrange money for the treatment. I'm sure he must be having sleepless nights and not eating anything. When I sent him our baby's photos, he broke into tears. He couldn't bear to see her in this condition. We know that we can never arrange such a huge amount." - Kanagi.