“The day he started going to an English medium school was the proudest moment for us. My parents couldn't afford to send me to school, and my husband studied only till class 2. I wanted Basha to have a better childhood than ours. All I wanted was for him to be happy and carefree, but cancer has taken away every little joy from him. He's in pain all the time, and I can do nothing to make him feel better. When I watch him lying on the hospital bed, so weak and frail because of this dreadful disease, I can't help but feel like I've failed. Every time I hold him in my arms, I worry that it’ll be the last time.” – Chand Banu, Basha’s mother
If not treated in time, 9-year-old Basha’s blood cancer will spread rapidly. Every day, his parents, Chand Banu and Abdul, fear losing their only child to this deadly disease. The only thing that can save Basha's life is chemotherapy.
Cancer has taken away the childhood that little Basha once knew and lovedAmidst all the injections, regular blood tests, medicines and the unbearable pain, little Basha has just one thing on his mind – how all his friends are going to school without him. The only time he speaks is to ask ‘Ammi, when will I go to school again?’ and Chand looks at him, forcing a smile. She assures him that once his fever subsides, they will take him home, but she knows that the reality is far more serious, and his battle with cancer is far from being over.
“He was so cheerful, but now, I haven't seen him smile in weeks. I rememeber when we were sitting across the doctor, I constantly prayed that it was a viral fever or a minor infection. When they said that our son has blood cancer, I looked at my husband, and though he was shattered, he didn’t falter. All he asked was when we need to start the treatment. And as soon as we left the hospital, he started making calls to different people to ask them if we can borrow money. We had no time to waste, and we did everything we can to start his treatment in the hope that we will see him smile again."
His devastated parents did everything they could to start his treatment, now they’re strugglingBasha was immediately started on chemotherapy. He sometimes sleeps through the chemotherapy, and on the days when the pain is too much to bear, he cries all day, begging to go back home. Cancer has wiped the smile off his once cheerful face and silenced the chatter that brightened their days. Basha needs chemotherapy for the next six months to beat cancer, but after using everything they had to start his treatment, Chand and Abdul are helpless.
A dire lack of funds stands in the way of Basha’s recoveryFor the past ten days, Chand and Abdul have spent all day and night by Basha’s bedside, fearing for his life and worrying about continuing his treatment. They have spent 1.5 lakhs by borrowing from relatives, and now don’t have much to go on with. Abdul is a daily wager and works on other people’s farms in their village in Andhra Pradesh. However, his work is irregular, and he hardly earns 200 on a good day.
“Sometimes I come home empty-handed, and we have to rely on whatever little we’ve saved over the years. But now even that is gone. We somehow started his treatment, but if we can’t continue it, I don’t think he will make it.” – Abdul