“Half of my son’s face is terribly swollen because of a cancerous tumor. He cannot see properly and is eating less as days go by. He is always begging me to save him from his growing discomfort, but I don’t have the money for his treatment."-Majibur Rahman, father.
Jaber Ali’s woes started with a terrible toothache
Jaber Ali is the second of Majibur Rahman and Fatima’s five children who live in a small village called Chirakuti in the Purba Medinipur in West Bengal. He loved going to school and hoped to study well so that he could pull his family out of abject poverty one day. But two years ago, he got a bad toothache that just got worse with time.
“We took him to the local clinic, but they gave some medicines told us to wait for a few days. He did not get better; in fact he started clenching his teeth so much that it only increased his pain. We gave him more painkillers but nothing could help him.”-Majibur Rahman.
This poor construction worker took his son to many places before he was finally diagnosed in Kolkata
It was with great difficulty that Majibur Rahman was able to take Jaber to Kolkata. He had to wait for many months before enough funds were arranged. Meanwhile, Jaber’s face started swelling, almost disfiguring him. Guilt was taking over this desolate father to the extent that he had even stopped eating food properly. His eldest son had to drop out of school and go to work as a farmer in Punjab because of the family’s pitiable financial condition.
“Fatima and I never expected that a simple toothache would cause so much trouble. Jaber had stopped going to school because he was scared that his friends would make fun of him. I begged and borrowed to take him to Kolkata because his condition had not been diagnosed yet. It was there that doctor first gave me the bad news that my son had a deadly tumor.”-Majibur Rahman.
Majibur could not start Jaber’s treatment immediately due to lack of funds
Doctors in Kolkata suggested that Jaber had to be started on chemotherapy as soon as possible, but Majibur did not even have money to pay the registration fee at the hospital. Traveling charges were also an extra burden, and this desolate father could not do anything but hope that he would get help in time for his son’s treatment.
“Jaber kept on asking me whether doctors would help remove that ‘thing’ from his face. I couldn’t tell him anything. My pocket was empty and my heart was sinking with guilt. I had to take him back home after two days in order to try and arrange some money.”-Majibur.
With the help of a friend, Majibur brought Jaber to Bengaluru when his condition worsened
Majibur brought his ailing son to Bengaluru two months back after a fellow laborer helped them with some expenses. The doctors in the Bengaluru hospital that they visited told Majibur clearly that his son needs immediate chemotherapy to survive. But Majibur has still not been able to make enough money for it.
“I didn’t have anybody to ask for help in Kolkata and that is why I couldn’t pursue Jaber’s treatment there. But with God’s grace, a friend in Bengaluru who is also a poor labourer, told me that there are good hospitals in Bengaluru. Everything is ready now except the money. I am helpless.”-Majibur.
Jaber cannot turn or move his head a little because of his deformity
“My son has been carrying this unbearable weight on his face for a long time now. He cannot move and just sits around in one position all day. Eating has become as difficult as moving. I am thankful to God for the days he eats even a small morsel. My son needs to be started on treatment now, but I have not been able to get money. He will lose his life soon without help.”-Majibur.
How you can help15-year-old Jaber Ali has a rare and aggressive tumor that can kill him without urgent chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. His father is now managing food and other expenses with the money that he received from selling the only piece of land he owned. He does not have any means to arrange the money required to start his son’s treatment. While Majibur and Jaber are struggling in Bengaluru
, Fatima and the other children back home are struggling to survive on the meager sum that Majibur left them.