"You have a gun to shoot bad guys, right, Acha? Then why can’t you shoot the bad worms in my tummy? It is hurting me a lot!” - 4-year-old Hridhja
Hridhja believes that her father, Rajesh Kumar, is the strongest and bravest person in the world. Every time his daughter asks him to shoot the pain away, Rajesh distracts her with a different topic like toys or puppies – and Hridhja’s smile returns to her face. This little girl is fighting kidney cancer. Her father, an army jawan, who has fought the worst in his lifetime, cannot save her from this.
This soldier feels helpless when facing his daughter's cancer
After medicines refused to make her recurrent stomach pain go away last December, Hridhja underwent multiple tests which confirmed that she had nephroblastoma (kidney cancer). She was started on chemotherapy immediately and even had a surgery.
Currently, she’s on radiation therapy.
“I know that proper treatment can save her and that there is hope, but I don’t have enough money for it. This is the first time in my life that I am feeling completely helpless and I have been in the army for 17 years." - Rajesh
‘I won't eat, Amma…the worms in my tummy will grow bigger if I do’
It is only on some rare days that you would find Hridhja complaining of stomach pain and crying to go home. She goes up to crying children and assures them that she will ask ‘nurse aunty’ to not give injections.
She chats up with their mothers with details about everything from the color of their clothes to the magazines in their bags.
Cancer may have made Hridhja weak, but it has certainly not sapped her energy. The only problem is that she has stopped eating.
“She was already a picky eater – I would have to run behind her many times with the plate in my hand, before she would agree to eat one spoon of rice. Now, she can have only rice congee, but she’s refusing to have it. She says that the worms in her tummy will grow bigger and bigger if she has food properly. I fear she will become weak and bedridden if this continues.” - Soumya, mother
For many years, Rajesh has been responsible for your peaceful night’s sleep, now it’s your chance to help him
Rajesh was stationed at the Assam border for 14 years before he shifted base to Secunderabad 3 years back. He has been tirelessly working day and night, like millions of other soldiers, to ensure that India’s borders are safe and Indians sleep peacefully at night.
But now, he’s been having sleepless nights worrying about how he will save his daughter who needs prolonged chemotherapy, radiotherapy as well as another surgery.
“I have already used up all my savings and PF amount. By asking relatives and friends, I have spent more than Rs 4 lakh on her treatment so far. Now, I have nothing left with me. I don’t have many leaves left. I have to go back to serve my country by the end of this month. I hope some help arrives before that. I tremble at the thought of my wife struggling alone to save our kid.” - Ra.jesh