The cheerful and fun-loving 13-year-old Harish was diagnosed with cancer a year back. He fought like a hero and when he just began to live the normal life that he wished for, the cancer relapsed. The battle has begun again now, leaving all his family and friends in despair.
Harish is in class 9 now. A year back, he had a high fever and his eyes were swollen. In the next few days, his weight reduced drastically. His parents Satish and Lakshmi rushed him to a hospital and heard the words "your son has cancer". They were totally devastated.Cancer relapsed within few months of his recovery.
He stayed at home for a month to recover from the impact of chemotherapy and started school in September. He was thrilled to meet his friends again and worked hard to catch up on the missed lessons. After a very small period of rest, cancer relapsed again this January. Harish is totally exhausted and the very thought of starting chemo cycles and hospital-stays haunts him.
"I'm overwhelmed by what a wonderful boy he is. Throughout his treatment last year, he never once complained. I think the strength to fight comes from faith and my son believes in us. I don't know how to tell him that his father may not be able to save him again." - Satish
This time, his cancer is back and even more aggressive. Only a bone-marrow transplant can help him survive. Without that he has very low chance of beating cancer. Unfortunately, no one in his family is not a matching donor and they are looking for an unrelated donor. The expense, the uncertainty and the risk involved in it are huge yet his parents are determined to save him at any cost.
The speed with which the disease took hold of him is terrible. The sickness and pain he endures daily are heartbreaking. We can't start with the chemotherapy until we are ready for the bone-marrow transplant. Just because we don't have money we are forced to see him in constant pain and suffering. We are helpless and guilt is killing me every minute." - Lakshmi
The nightmare continues for the family and Harish needs his parents and his younger brother by his side now more than ever. Harish is like a shadow of his former self - less sure that he will make it. His parents are very worried about the psychological impact of his relapse. Harish always had a lot of dreams. But now the fear and pain are very visible in his eyes.
Satish used to work in a private travel agency for a meager salary. He is the sole breadwinner of the family. He also has to support his elderly mother, a survivor of breast cancer. He is both physically and emotionally exhausted. He is from Chengalpattu and travels to CMC, Vellore, for the routine check-ups and chemotherapy every second day. He is scared that he might lose his son but he hides his pain and fear to give strength to his family.