“On one hand our family welcomed my daughter, on the other hand, we are on the verge of losing my youngest 15-year-old brother Ankush to cancer. We can’t even be happy the way we should have been. It’s been so traumatic for us to juggle between hospitals. None of could accept that cancer has come back to his life again."
4 years have gone to save Ankush, but all went in vain in just a few daysAkash is the eldest brother of Ankush and he has been taking the sole responsibility to help his brother live. Akash had to quit his job just to take care of his brother because there is no one else who can talk to the doctors and really understand what Ankush has been going through.
“My little brother underwent 4 years of painful chemotherapy since he was just 11 years. Last year just before Diwali he was discharged and we thought finally the festival of light has lightened our lives. But I think Ankush is paying a heavy price for enjoying Diwali.”
Nobody thought that the happiness that Diwali brought for Ankush would be short livedAlthough Ankush was declared cancer-free last year, he needed extra care and needed to be away from dust. But in Diwali, he was so happy to finally be with his family in a healthy way, he played a lot. Since January, he started complaining of pain in several parts of his body. What struck the family hard, was that Ankush was having a severe pain in his skull which was a scary sign.
“When Ankush said his ankle and legs were paining we didn’t bother much. But when he said that his head and skull was paining, I knew something wasn’t right. The tests revealed nothing. However, my brother kept on crying because his pain had reached to his rib-cage and he could barely lift his head up. Bone marrow tests confirmed that he has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, severe form of blood cancer had relapsed. All I had in my mind that my little brother’s deadly sufferings are back. I was scared.”
Nothing could be worse than cancer relapsing and threaten to kill the little boy againWhen Ankush was diagnosed with blood cancer for the first time in 2014, he had become so pale that he was almost white. His hemoglobin had dropped to 3 (13.5-17.5 is normal). He has a fever every night with a temperature of 103 degrees. When cancer came back for the second time, it crushed the family.
“The word ‘cancer’ had left us shattered the very first time. We somehow managed to fight back. But my brother is a strong soul. Our father, Sakaldev is sad all the time. There have been times when dad has broken down and it’s Ankush who tells him that he’s going to be fine. Our mother, Sangeeta has not left any place of worship unvisited to beg her son’s life. She goes to temples, churches and I don’t know where else hoping that Ankush gets his life back. I don’t even know if these work. We’re doing everything that might give us a little silver lining.”
Akash’s sacrifices seem to have gone in vain
29-year-old, Akash was married only last year. Akash and his wife, Devika welcomed their little bundle of joy, Kanika in February. But Akash has not been able to enjoy his fatherhood. He has been juggling between his baby and brother without a complaint.
“I have quit my job. My savings are gone too. My dad earns very less from his export shop. We have spent Rs 4 lakhs in just 2 cycles of chemotherapy this time. A bone marrow transplant is now the only way to save my brother. Help from relatives, from my dad’s workplace, everything is done now. There’s no way left we can afford to save him. But giving up on him is not even an option for us.”
How you can help?
15-year-old Ankush is in too much pain because he is fighting cancer for the second time. His family has no means left to save their youngest son. The cost required for his bone marrow transplant is Rs 30 lakhs.