“Our son has cancer, and the only option that I was left with to get him treated was to take him from Assam to Chennai. It took us 3 long days to get there by train, and our son kept howling throughout the journey because of the terrible pain in his stomach. With a few clothes and the little money we had, we reached Chennai. But our struggles to save our son had just begun. This is a new city for me, and I feel lost here. There are days when we have to survive without food. But none of our struggles are even close to what our son is going through. I can’t worry about anything else but saving his life.” - Kholil, 5-year-old Saiful’s father.
Saiful's playful childhood changed when he started having severe stomach acheLittle Saiful lived a happy life in his small village in Assam. He would spend all day playing with this neighbourhood friends, and when he returned home, he would beg his parents to play with him. He was happy and active, and kept his parents on their toes. However, two months ago, little Saiful had such a terrible stomach ache that he couldn't even get up from his bed, let alone go out and play. Kholil and Salima knew something wasn’t right.
They never imagined that his stomach ache would lead to the diagnosis of a grave diseaseSaiful’s parents didn’t waste time and took him to a hospital in Assam where they found that he has a tumor in his abdomen. Saiful was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer which originates in certain types of white blood cells. Saiful needs to undergo high dose of chemotherapy to stay alive.
An old photo of Saiful
“It’s been more than 2 months since my son has eaten properly, he’s mostly on liquid diet. Sometimes after he has taken his medicines, he feels a little better. That's when he asks about his friends. He is sad he can't play like he used to, and tells me that he doesn’t want to stay in the hospital. He starts to cry and asks me when he can go back."