When a sharp leg pain turned out to be a dangerous diseaseWhen Joshua complained of leg pain in July last year, his parents told him to sit more because their second child was always on the move. He would spend his time playing and running around the house, and never rest. But they understood that it was something to be taken seriously when he got a fever that persisted for two weeks.
“He would be normal in the mornings, but wouldn’t sleep at night. Seeing him turning and tossing restlessly really worried us. When we took him to the doctors at first, they didn’t suspect anything. But more tests confirmed he had cancer. We were devastated. Our son had just begun talking in complete sentences. He was growing up to be a smart toddler. We couldn’t believe it but the truth was that cancer had come for my son and we had to face it,” says Susan, Joshua’s mother.
Joshua was fighting cancer well, but not for longContrary to the worried family’s fears about losing their dear child to cancer, Joshua was actually responding well to chemo. “He was tired but it never stopped him from smiling. He still wanted to play. That’s the wonderful thing about children – their natural resilience. Our Joshua had been almost cured of cancer and was excited about going to pre-school when the relapse happened in January,” says Jacob, his father.
Joshua scribbles in books to while away time at the hospital even though it is straining his eye
The bulge in Joshua’s left eye makes him restless and tiredOnly this time, the cancer caused a huge bulge in his left eye – causing immense pain and irritation. Joshua’s parents were too shocked to say anything when the doctors told them that the cancer was spreading. He needed immediate chemotherapy and his family rushed him to a hospital in Madurai for treatment. They had to leave behind their first child – 6-year-old Rusef in their hometown, Kottayam. Joshua has become more irritable than ever now because of the chemo. He sleeps more often and does not eat much.
“My child loved dosa so much. Now, he is not even able to eat a morsel of rice congee. We have to feed him forcefully. We tell him that he will not be able to be strong without the food. When we say the same for the injections he receives, he cries and says he doesn’t want to get better like this. The worst part is when he asks about his eye. He wants to see himself in the mirror, but we have been giving him excuses. Our son may lose his eye, but we don't want him to lose his life,” adds Susan.
Small things make Joshua happy, despite the excruciating painJoshua loved singing verses from the Bible as his father is a pastor. He may not be able to sing now but his mother is making sure she reads stories to him every day. His parents also try to divert his attention from the pain by bringing him different books to go through. He finds it difficult to peruse but it puts a big smile on his face.
This family strives to be happy again
How you can helpJoshua needs an immediate bone marrow transplant before his cancer aggravates and spreads to other organs. His left eye may lose its vision completely and worse- he may even lose his life- if this surgery is not done urgently. Joshua’s father, Jacob John, works as a pastor in a small church in Kottayam and cannot arrange the money – Rs 10 lakh – required for the treatment. He has spent only Rs 50,000 till now at the hospital because that is all he could afford.
Your small contribution can help save Joshua’s life.