10-year-old Rakshitha's favourite part of the morning was getting her hair done by her father before he left for work. Rakshitha would insist that he combs and plaits her hair every day, while she told him stories from school. However, Rakshitha’s life tragically changed when she was diagnosed with deadly bone cancer. Every time she ran her fingers through her hair, chunks of hair would fall out. She would then run to Manjappa saying “Appa, all my hair is falling off! How will I go to school like this?” Now, Rakshitha has lost all her hair and energy to cancer. Without an urgent surgery, she won’t make it.
Amidst celebrations, her parents received the news of her grave diagnosisMarch was a month of celebrations for the family. Manjappa’s cousin was getting married, and the whole family was coming together after months. Rakshitha and her older sister (13) were excited to meet and play with their cousins. Manjappa and Suma had bought their children new dresses for the wedding too. Little did they think that a day of happiness would turn so tragic.
“The day of the wedding, everything changed for our daughter. I remember, Rakshitha came to us limping, saying her leg was hurting. We thought it was because of all the running around the children had done the whole day. We went back home, happy. But her pain persisted even after a few days. Her hip was slightly swollen, and she struggled to walk. When I took her to the hospital, the scans revealed that she has a cancerous tumour in her left leg.” – ManjappaRakshitha has bone cancer that started in her left pelvis and soon spread to her left leg. She was immediately started on chemotherapy in April, but it’s not enough to save her. Rakshitha needs a surgery in one week to survive fast-growing cancer.
Cancer has made Rakshitha extremely weak, but she hasn’t let it break her spiritRakshitha insists on going to school even during chemotherapy. It’s the one thing that distracts her from the pain. When she lost all her hair, she was a little worried that all her classmates will make fun of her, but everyone in her school has been supportive. Going to school makes her feel ‘normal’ and she comes back home to tell us all the interesting stories from school.
“ She’s so resilient. Even though she’s scared of injections, she never creates a fuss. She just closes her eyes tight and holds my hand. Watching her go through this so bravely, gives us hope that she will fight this disease. But if I can’t afford her treatment, our daughter won’t make it.”- Manjappa