“When my son was blinded on one eye, I told my husband about the movie 'Aankhen' where people couldn’t see yet they are capable of having a normal life. I was sure that Rishikesh would have a normal life. I believed we will train him to use his weakness as his strength. With his cancer spreading gearing to kill him, I don’t know if he would get the chance to grow up."
His retina was affected when he was 2 years oldMamta and Lakshminarayan have been traveling 350 km in over-crowded passenger trains since their 4-year-old son was a baby. For kids, birthdays are very special. But for Rishikesh, his second birthday shattered his happy childhood forever. The little boy started itching his eyes so much that it seemed he would gouge them out.
“We started noticing a white spot on one of his retinas and it only got bigger. We know the eye is sensitive and important. Even though money was a serious concern, we took Rishikesh to good doctors. We discovered he has Retinoblastoma, a severe form of cancer in the retina.”
Not just an eye, cancer is taking away his lifeSoon after the diagnosis, cancer stole Rishikesh's vision. His right eye had to be operated to stop cancer from spreading. Even though he was blinded, the parents were more than happy to see him alive. The happiness lasted a short while until they realized cancer had already affected Rishikesh's other eye. Without urgent treatment, he will go blind, and lose his life.
“When we heard the treatment plan, we were shaken. He has not responded well to the usual chemotherapy. He has to undergo specialized chemotherapy for his eye where the medicines will be put directly to the nerve connecting the brain and retina. While this kind of chemotherapy has a little risk that my little baby might suffer a stroke, it is our only shot at saving him."Lakshminarayan and his brother jointly own a tea stall in Bijapur, Karnataka. They also have a very small plot of land where they harvest pulses. This year they suffered a huge loss. Lakshminarayan and Mamta have to go to the hospital very frequently now. His brother manages the work when he’s away. Unfortunately, without another hand to help, the business is suffering.
“My baby doesn’t cry despite being in so much pain. We can’t even send him to school because there is a high risk of infection. He plays with his sisters Shreya and Srawani and watches a lot of TV. Sometimes he has severe fevers and becomes irritated. His cancer has taken over his childhood.”
Money is the only thing standing in the path of the child's lifeLakshminarayan and his brother jointly make Rs 7000 a month. He has spent Rs 1.5 lakh from his own pocket and borrowed a lot to save his son. With the increased cost of specialized chemotherapy, he is running out of funds to fulfill the bills.
How you can helpLittle Rishikesh has to undergo specialized chemotherapy for 3 weeks at the earliest. Without the treatment, he will lose his life. The cost required to save the little child now is Rs 5 lakhs.
He has already been blinded in one eye. This boy does not deserve to lose another or his life to cancer.
Your support will help this child to continue to see the beautiful world.