In spite of never having too much, I was happy with my life. My wife, Juliya, and I had a happy home with our two children. My 4-year-old son Junaid, was excited to welcome the youngest member, my 10-month-old son, Jobed. He finally had someone to play with.
I always returned home to find Juliya either busy with Jobed or running behind Junaid. I felt my family was blessed. Junaid always acted the bodyguard for his baby brother. He would be so upset if we took his little brother away from him for even a short while.
At an age when he should explore the world, he is in a world of painI suppose that the poor are bereft of happiness. When Jobed was just 6-months-old, we found that he had hard lumps around his stomach. The lumps seemed to become bigger. Along with that, my little baby started having fevers which kept returning.
Juliya became paranoid and she was not ready to wait till we saved a bit more. We quickly took him to the local doctors. They couldn’t confirm anything and just gave medicines for fever and dismissed us. We are too poor to think of looking for better doctors.
We thought our baby would get better. Instead, he stopped feeding. He became irritable and his fevers came coming back even more severe. We knew something was very wrong with our baby. I started waiting in queues for the government hospital day in and out.
I couldn’t wait for something major to happen to my little baby. We brought him to Bangalore. Doctors carried out tests and the results hit us hard. My baby had hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer. Cancer was the last thing I had expected. All I understood was that my baby was dying.
I have not even earned the amount that I have already spentI had a small farm. A few years back, I had to sell most of my land because my father broke his spinal cord and needed a surgery. His treatment cost me a fortune and I had barely been able to recover from those expenses.
We all know the farmer earns the least and it is true of me. My income is sometimes not even enough for the basic needs of my family. In the summer, I sell mangoes just for some extra income. Nothing prepared me for this situation.
My baby’s cancer has taken a toll on Juliya’s health and mind. She is the one who made our home happy. She has become very weak and cries a lot. She barely eats and sleeps now. I don’t think she has slept in months. She is scared that she might wake up and the worst happens to our son.
Life has become very difficult for all of usJuliya stays with Jobed in the hospital. We had to bring Junaid here as well. There’s no one back home who can take care of him. Junaid keeps crying for his mother and little brother. I barely know how to cook and we somehow manage. Our lives have become so difficult.
It seems that my children understand what we are going through. Although cancer is slowly killing my little one, he barely cries. Junaid sometimes doesn’t get food at home because we are at the hospital, but he never complains.
I have not been able to work for the last few months. My mother asks a few neighbors to water the crops. I am scared that the crops will get wasted and it will be a blow that I can't afford right now. But if I lose my baby I will never recover from the loss.
We know no one in Bangalore. All the money that we had brought from home is over now. We had borrowed most of it and now there’s no way we can get any money. We believe the doctors here are a replica of God. I don’t know if any other hospital would have treated my baby knowing that we barely have money.
In a month, I have already spent Rs 2 lakhs. This is huge for a farmer who can’t see this amount even after working for years. Expenses are growing every day and I am lost as to how to save my child. I am scared that I will lose my baby to poverty.
How can you help?My little baby needs chemotherapy urgently to fight his liver cancer. We have no more funds left and no sources to borrow from. The cost required to save my baby through chemotherapy is Rs 3 lakhs and I just have my strong will to save him left now.
Your support can save baby Jobed.