My name is Helina Girma. I’m 18 years old. My father, Girma, works as a manager in a private firm. My mother, Mosit, is a teacher. My brother, Yignet is a 4th year Medical resident, and I also have a younger sister in 3rd grade. I just finished school and hoped to join Med School. I want to be a doctor someday.
Just when I thought my dreams were going to come true, I was given a diagnosis that changed my life. I started on chemotherapy immediately. We thought it would cost us just USD 1000. My parents pooled in their savings, but I was not responding well to the drugs. The side effects were too much for me to bear. The treatment ended up taking more time, and costing twice as much. My doctors referred me to India. We could not afford travel expenses for the whole family. My mother and I travelled here from Ethiopia.
For 6 months, I have been in India, getting chemotherapy. I am feeling better. I am fighting the disease. I believe I can win it, go back home and fulfill my dreams. Our only problem is the money for treatment. We never thought it would take this long, or cost so much. My father is still working hard to help me get better. He always wanted his children to be doctors and save lives. Today, he is struggling to save mine.