“She asks me every day if she can go to school, if she can see her friends. She thinks it’s a throat infection and doesn’t understand why it won’t go! It hurts to see the hope in her eyes die when I refuse her. What is this cancer? Why her?” – Nirmala, mother.
Nobody knew what the sickness was
“She was very active. The fever came out of the blue. We first thought it was normal. But it got severe and we were very scared. We rushed her to hospitals, one after the other. No one knew what it was. Four hospitals later, they suggested we get her admitted in Hyderabad. Leaving behind our jobs, we did as we were told. With whatever money we had, we got her admitted! But even they did not tell us what it was!” – Nirmala, mother.
Misdiagnosed several times, Shalini shuttled between hospitalsShe was admitted in a hospital in Hyderabad in the month of January. Three months later, the doctors concluded she was normal and there was nothing to worry about. The parents got her discharged. But Shalini was still not okay. They took her to another hospital, where the doctors suspected a tumor in her throat.
“They said there was a lump in her throat. She has blood cancer. So many words that I’ve never heard of, in my life. Cancer, bone marrow, tumor, chemotherapy - all this is alien to me. We were terrified. Then, her hair started falling. Her head was shaved. What sort of a sickness is this? She used to cry – not in pain, but in fear. What more is in store for my daughter?”- Nirmala broke down.
Her treatment was stopped due to lack of fundsHaving had her first session of chemotherapy, Shalini’s treatment was put on hold. Already neck-deep in debts from the previous hospitals, the parents couldn’t afford to pay for her scans. They took a month’s time to arrange the funds and then continued her treatment. A month later, in July, they had to pay again and but they had nothing. Left with no choice, they got her discharged and took her home. Since then, Shalini has received no treatment.
“We came to a hospital in Bangalore few weeks ago. She’s surviving on medicines and syrups to keep her sickness in control till we can afford her treatment.” – Nirmala, mother.
Shalini’s treatment will cost 12 lakhs and her parents are in miseryShivan works as an electrician in Hyderabad. He earns Rs. 12,000 a month of which he sends 5,000 to his wife and children in Karnataka. He’s left with 3,000 after sending out money to his ageing parents, with which he manages his room rent and food. There is never a chance to save money. It’s been close to two months now and Shivan hasn’t gone for work.
“I can’t even remember where all we’ve borrowed money from. A year of running around - I’ve lost count of how much debt I am in. Why does God give people like us such big illnesses? I’ve spent days outside the houses of strangers who I thought could help us. We're poor, but we’ve always lived with dignity. It’s all gone now. But I don’t care! If I am able to get the funds, I can save my little girl. She has to live!” – Shivan, father.
The parents have gone beyond their means. Your contribution is the only way they can afford to save Shalini.