It’s hard to make friends. I’ve tried a few times, and things are usually fine for the first two or three weeks. But sooner or later, they look at the bruises on my body, or the rashes, or see me bleed from the tiniest of cuts, and they can’t ignore it anymore. They ask me ‘What’s wrong with you?’
And I never know how to tell them… that I’m dying. So I just stopped making the effort.
– Abdul, 14
Abdul was 5 when he first started having severely bloody diarrhea, coupled with high fever and a cough. It had been very scary for his parents, who had immediately taken him to the only doctor in their village. Their fears were far from removed when the medicines that they gave him refused to work, and the doctor seemed to be at a loss as to why. It was nearly a year later when a doctor in Mumbai – 1,500km away from their village – finally diagnosed Abdul with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, an incredibly rare disease that affects only 0.000001% children worldwide.
His mother has been trying hard to help her son through his suffering
“I’ve never gotten used to it. I’ve seen my son bleed from his nose, from his mouth, in his stool, from rashes both on top of and even under his skin, for most of his life now. I’ve held him in my arms countless times as he moans in pain while his whole body aches for no reason. I’ve seen him develop all sorts of infections that leave him a coughing, feverish mess each time. I’ve seen bruises form on his skin from the lightest of touches. This is what his life became 9 years ago, and it has been breaking my heart every single day since...”– Noor, mother
Poor Abdul never got to have a childhood
With most of his time spent going from one hospital to another, or bedridden at home, Abdul has never had the chance to be a “normal” kid. He has only ever stared at rain through a window, never played in it. He has seen other children go to school every morning, but never went to school himself.
“Sometimes, whenever my father has any extra money left, he brings me small storybooks. Once he even got a 2nd Standard English textbook. Over the years, I’ve been teaching myself to read and write. I want to be able to read my medical reports one day, so I know how long I have left to live. My father never tells me, just says ‘Don’t worry about it’. But how can I not?”– Abdul
A bone marrow transplant is the only thing that can save his life, but his father cannot afford it
Due to the nature of his condition, all the treatments Abdul has received so far have just been delaying the inevitable. To truly be rid of this life-threatening disease once and for all, Abdul needs a bone marrow transplant. His father has known this for a while, and has been trying his best to come up with the money, working multiple jobs ranging from daily labor to factory work. But everything he raises just goes towards keeping his son alive for another month or two.
Things are nearing breaking point now. Abdul’s treatments are getting less and less effective, and his condition is getting worse each day. If he doesn’t receive the transplant within the next few weeks, he might not make it. He may never learn to read. He may never get to play in the rain.
You are his only lifeline now. Please donate as much as you can.