“My daughter, Ayesha loved tying her hair in different styles. She would stand in front of the mirror for hours together and in the end, ask me to click her pictures. But now my little girl hates the mirror. If she accidentally looks at the mirror, she starts crying. She tells me, ‘My hair is gone. I look different.’ I don't get words to comfort her. Cancer has already changed my child's appearance but now it's threatening to take her life." - Alkaswoa, 10-year-old Ayesha’s mother.
No one imagined her leg pain would turn out to be something as grave as cancer2 months ago, Ayesha fell from a bench in her school. After the incident, she kept complaining of severe pain in her right ankle. Alkoswoa kept applying pain relief balms, but nothing seemed to reduce her pain. After a few days, Ayesha hurt her ankle again. Seeing her daughter whimpering in pain all night, Alkoswoa took her to the doctors immediately.
After a few tests, her parents received the shocking news that little Ayesha is suffering from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. A cancerous tumour that affected her ankle also has spread to her lungs. Without chemotherapy and radiation, the tumor will spread to other parts of her body rapidly and will kill Ayesha.
“Cancer has made her so weak that she has no strength to get up from the bed. There’s no flesh left in her body, it’s all bones. She keeps throwing up whenever I try to feed her. With her hair gone, she has become emotionally weak too. I can’t believe this is happening to my Ayesha.” - Alkaswoa
Little Ayesha doesn’t want to be in the hospital but cancer won’t let her outAlkoswoa hasn’t gathered the courage to tell her daughter that she is dying and she is undergoing the painful treatment to stay alive. Little Ayesha doesn’t know why she has to be in the hospital. She wants to go to school and play again. She wants her hair to grow back. The little girl who was so scared of injections has to undergo chemotherapy now.
Although her father had a decent income, he was never prepared to deal with his daughter's cancerAyesha’s father, Reyad works in a garment shop. He had a decent income. He managed to educate and feed his children. But he never had the means to get his daughter treated for cancer. In just 2 months, he has already spent Rs 3 lakhs. He has borrowed from his relatives and sold all his wife's jewellery. Now arranging another Rs 6 lakhs is impossible for him.
Old photograph of Ayesha with her brother