“She is the first one in our family to be a first-ranker in college. She was always engrossed in her studies and thought of nothing beyond academics. Ever since her health started deteriorating because of cancer, she couldn't focus on her studies properly. Not a day goes by where she would ask for how long she has to stay in the hospital. She longs to go back to college again.- Sujatha Bai, Jyothi’s mother.After losing her father at a very early age, Jyoti Bai was determined to give her mother a good life. She worked hard but cancer has shattered all her dreams. Now, this 18-year-old waits for help.
Her Engineering dreams came to a halt because of cancerThere was a time when Jyothi was always active and focused on her studies, but now she just lies down on her bed as weakness doesn't allow her to sit or walk. She started pursuing her engineering studies in a private college in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh and was very excited about going to college.
“ One day I got a call from her college saying that she fainted. Worried, I rushed her to a hospital nearby. She had low RBC count and low Haemoglobin levels; she was given 2 bottles of blood. Soon after she recovered from the fever and started going to college again, she started having severe body pain and vomiting. She underwent various tests and it was then that she got diagnosed with blood cancer.”
Jyothi doesn’t even know that she’s fighting cancerJyothi Bai is diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes abnormal myeloblasts (a type of white blood cell), red blood cells, or platelets. She needs Induction Chemotherapy for a period of 6 months to recover from this life-threatening disease. Knowing that she has cancer might depress her, Jyothi's mother and her relatives have kept her in the dark, convincing her that she just has a low RBC count.
“ I didn’t tell my daughter that she’s dealing with such a fatal disease. Every time she asks me why they’re giving her injections or IV fluids, I would just say that it’s because of her low RBC count. She needs platelet transfusions, every time it goes down. She shivers uncontrollably whenever the procedure is done. She is unable to eat food these days. Though she wants to have food, but her body is not willing to take it. There was a time when she used to talk about how she would settle down with a good job, now I’m afraid if she could make it to the next day,”
Jyothi before she was diagnosed with cancer
Jyothi’s mother is a daily wage labourer, struggling on her own to save her daughterSujatha Bai is a single mother who is struggling to save her daughter. She lost her husband 10 years ago because of a massive heart attack. She is a daily wage labourer who earns Rs.200 per day. As they don’t have enough money to look after the expenses, her brother Ravi Naik is taking care of the expenses, but he is also on the verge of exhausting all the savings he had.
“ Never in my wildest dreams, I ever thought that something like this would happen to Jyothi. I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears to save my daughter from this deadly disease. My younger son has even stopped going to school since all my earnings were spent on my daughter’s treatment. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and now I've also quit working to take care of my daughter. I feel like I've failed as a mother as I couldn't take care of both of my kids."