Every day, Pavan would ask his mother, 'When can I meet my baby sister?' Vaidehi would say, 'Soon'. One day at the end of October, she had to change her answer to 'Never'.
She had a miscarriage. Pavan was told that his baby sister was with God. A week later, he came running to her showing a few lumps on his neck. He asked, 'Does this mean I am going to be with God as well?'
Vaidehi never imagined she would lose her son as well and is now fighting heaven and hell to keep him alive.
They never saw the lumps before, and they never thought it could be cancer
Venkata Reddy and Vaidehi live in a small village near Guntur. Here he is a farmer, making Rs. 200/day. Vaidehi's pregnancy only meant they had to struggle more to save up for the expanding family. As a result, she never had the means to take care of herself, even if it meant eating well or taking vitamins. Eventually, it led to a miscarriage.
"I hid my grief for Pavan and explained it as he would understand. When he showed me those lumps on his neck, I felt my heart stop. I wondered if I ignored him in my grief. We went to a doctor. He had so many tests. After seeing the report, the doctor asked us to go to Vijayawada. Until we reached that hospital I had no clue that my son has cancer." - Vaidehi
'He is dying in front of our eyes, every minute'
Pavan has anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a very rare type of blood cancer that usually affects boys.
It starts with swelling in the neck or armpits and quickly spreads. There are type types of this cancer, and luckily, Pavan has the type that responds well to chemotherapy.
"We started his chemotherapy one month ago. He has been through 6 cycles. Right now I cannot recognize my son. His face has completely changed with white patches all over. His hair, that messy hair is completely gone. His voice is weaker, so are his cries. He is so much smaller than I remember." - Venkata Reddy
Pavan's world is tainted with fear and painVenkata Reddy had saved Rs 50,000 for his children's future.
He had to use this to save Pavan's life. When he ran out of savings, he borrowed up to Rs 1 lakh to finish the next few cycles of chemotherapy. Pavan needs to continue this treatment for 6 months to beat cancer. On one hand, his parents are begging everyone for help, on the other, he is begging them to stop his pain.
"He screams the minute he sees the nurse or doctor. Even in my sleep, I can hear him crying, 'Oddhu! Oddhu Amma!' asking us to stop them from poking him. He says the medicines make him feel sick. He cries all the time from the pain and nausea. Now he asks me every day if this means he will get to see his sister. We do not have any money left. If we cannot continue his treatment, then yes, I may have to lose him as well." - Vaidehi
CM Funds is no longer an option and they need your help
Venkata Reddy applied for CM funds. Unfortunately, they cannot avail these funds immediately since the family does not have an Aadhar Card.
The family cannot stop Pavan's treatment as the cancer is progressing quickly and even a day's halt can kill the boy.
"I feel like we are being punished for being poor and uneducated. I don't know what else I can do except just plead everyone I know to help us. We need Rs. 12 lakhs for the next six months of treatment. I want to bring my son home cancer-free. Help us!" - Venkata Reddy