“My eldest daughter Neda stayed in the hospital for 9 months and 17 days for chemotherapy and radiation. At the end of it, we thought our struggle was over. In just a few weeks when we took her back for a follow, we discovered that she had a 90% relapse of cancer. Her battle to protect her body held no meaning anymore.”
Neda can no longer do what she loved the most15-year-old Neda is the eldest daughter of Tarannum and Iqbal. Being a bright student, Neda had never missed a single day at school. But after not going to school for almost 10 months now, Neda has forgotten how her school looked like.
“Last year in July, my child had fever and back pain. We didn’t worry much because we thought she had just stressed herself too much with her studies. What scared us was her blood with the urine. It was something very unusual and scary.”
Beating cancer once wasn’t enoughTheir local doctors in Purulia, West Bengal, suspected that she had blood cancer. Finally, when her parents took her to Kolkata the doctors confirmed that she has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a severe form of blood cancer. Iqbal’s poverty forced him to pause for a moment before he could start treating his daughter from the fatal disease.
“My daughter just knows that she had blood cancer and that she is getting better. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation without a single drop of tear. Now, what do I tell her? Her cancer is back again and now she needs a bone marrow transplant. Neda knows nothing about it. Her pain is just growing every day and I am left with no hope to save her.”
No job, no house and not even any money, Iqbal doesn’t know how to save NedaIqbal worked as a coolie and managed to barely earn Rs 40 per day. He has been out of work for almost a year now. After Neda’s chemotherapy when they could go back home for a while, he started working again. Before he could compensate for the months lost, he is again out of job trying to save his daughter.
“Our house is the only thing we had. But when Neda was dying, we needed money to save her. After losing hope from every place, the only way I was left with was selling off the house. I thought it will be done if I can manage the money then. But now, where will I get any more money from? There are no relatives even to help any longer.”
The helpless parents just want a way to save their eldest daughterNeda has 3 younger siblings who are now staying with Tarannum’s sister. They keep calling Iqbal and ask him what has happened to Neda. All he says is she has a fever and will be back soon. But Iqbal alone knows how uncertain his statements are. The thought that he has to lie to his own kids every day, kills him.
“Tarannum hasn’t stopped crying since we’ve heard that Neda needs a bone marrow transplant. She gets scared because Neda keeps asking us ‘Am I going to be fine? Am I dying?’ and we can’t even answer her. We lie to her too. I can’t tell her that I have no money to save her.”
How you can helpNeda is fighting blood cancer for the second time and a bone marrow transplant is the only way to save her. The cost required to save her now is Rs 36 lakhs and her father has no money left to save her.
“Our house is gone. Every rupee that I had or borrowed is gone. I have already spent Rs 7 lakhs and there’s no one I can go back to. Some friends are still helping to at least get food. But the cost of treatment is so high. I just know that I have to save my child at any cost.”Your support can save Neda.