Thalassemia – a disease unknown to her poor parentsInchara was diagnosed with a blood disease when she was just 2-years-old. Shashikala and Basavaraj didn’t even have the Rs. 2000 needed for her tests. They had to borrow money from their relatives. “The doctors told us it was called Thalassemia. It was the first time we had even heard the word, we didn’t know what the disease was or what it could do to our daughter,” Shashikala says.
What started as a fever and cold turned into something life-threatening. Ever since then, Thalassemia, a disease that causes excessive destruction of red blood cells in the body, has taken over the little one’s life.
“Amma can I go play outside today at least?”Inchara can’t go to school anymore. The dust outside is a threat to her, and she risks catching an infection quickly. As the years have gone by, Inchara has started getting weaker sooner without blood transfusions.
“She used to go to school for 3 days in a week, but she’s very sharp. She would come home and read sentences in English to us. It was such a proud moment for us. To see our daughter, despite her disease, do so well makes us happy. But now she’s getting weaker. Earlier she needed blood every 25 days, but now she tires easily and much sooner.” - Shashikala, mother
However, the blood transfusions aren’t enough to keep her alive any longer – she needs a bone marrow transplant at the earliest.
“We don’t know how much we’ve spent all these years, all we know is that it’s beyond our means”Shashikala and Basavaraj have lost count of the amount they’ve spent on their daughter’s treatment in all these years. Every visit to the hospital is a tedious one – they have to travel 3 hours from Tumkur to Bangalore for her blood transfusions, get tests done, buy medicines, and at the end of that one day, spend nearly Rs. 5000. They have to do this every 15-20 days now, and for a tractor driver earning Rs. 200 a day, Basavaraj can't afford it without any longer.
“She’s been struggling for so many years. All she wants is to be like the children she sees outside the hospital. She can have that chance only if she gets a transplant, but we just can’t afford it. We’ve borrowed from too many people already.”
Inchara has been living with Thalassemia for over 4 years now. The blood transfusions have kept her alive, but now, even that’s not enough. A bone marrow transplant is the only curative treatment and you can help save her.