“ When my daughter asked me when is Diwali, I told her it's only a few weeks away. Since that day, she has been counting the days to Diwali. Even when a nurse enters the room, she would ask her the date and count again. She has asked her dad to keep the diyas and crackers ready. How can I tell her that she will not able to go home this Diwali if we are unable to afford her treatment - Kranthi, mother
Gruthika was an active child who loved going to school and participated in every school activity5-year-old Gruthika lived with her parents Kranthi and Madhukar, and elder sister Tishali (9) in Bhadrachalam, Telangana. She was always cheerful and never missed any cultural activity in school. She even started learning Bharatanatyam in her school. She actively participated in every sports event and even won first prize. It was a proud moment for mother, Kranthi looking at her daughter receiving a gold medal and cash prize. However, her sweet days of childhood was short-lived when she started having fevers and started shivering uncontrollably.
Gruthika before cancer took over her life
“ One day I got a call from the school saying that Gruthika was having fever with uncontrollable shivers. I immediately went to the school and took her to the hospital. She was given medication immediately and we hoped that she would get better soon. But there was no improvement in her condition and it was only worsening.” - Kranthi, mother
Despite severe pain, Gruthika is positive and hopes that she will go home soonAs per the local doctor's advice, Gruthika's parents took her to Hyderabad, Telangana for further investigation. After a few tests, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia, a severe form of blood cancer that rapidly produces abnormal blood cells in the body and progresses quickly without immediate treatment. Gruthika's parents were shocked when they were told that their little girl is fighting cancer. They immediately started her treatment on doctor's advice.
Gruthika underwent four cycles of chemotherapy. Despite the pain, she is optimistic that she will go home for this Diwali.
“ I would break down into tears sometime but my daughter would hold me and say, 'Why are you worrying Amma. I am praying to God everyday. I will be okay'. How can I tell my daughter that she's fighting with cancer that will take her life away."- Karuna, mother
Gruthika loves to draw and paint in her colouring book. With the little energy left, she paints her favourite pictures so she can show it to her friends when she goes home for Diwali. Little does she know that her poor parents are struggling to keep her alive.
Her parents have exhausted everything and now has no money left to continue her treatmentGruthika’s father, Madhukar works in a private company. With the little income he earns he needs to take care of his children education and the family needs. Gruthika needs to undergo more chemotherapy sessions. And if her condition doesn't improve then she needs to undergo bone marrow transplant. Madhukar needs to arrange for 30 lakhs for her treatment, but now he has exhausted all the money and he has no one to help for her daughter's treatment.
“My husband is away from us working and day and night only to meet the treatment expenses. But the little income he earns will not be sufficient for the treatment. He is constantly worrying about Gruthika’s treatment. He tried his best to get help but he couldn’t find any. With my husband away, I stay alone with my daughter. This city is new to us and I dont know anyone who could help us." - Kranthi, mother