But from the past 4 years, after he was diagnosed with deadly blood cancer, Kundan’s life has been drastically different.
Kundan has forgotten what being in school felt like, as the joy of being amongst peers and learning new things has been replaced by the agony inflicted by strong cancer medicines .“But the worst of all – my son, who used to be curious about everything in life is now passive and disinterested in everything. I can see it in his eyes,” says Ajay who does not have the means to afford his son’s bone marrow transplant – the only way he can be saved.
Kundan, when he was better
In the last 4 years, Kundan has only been cancer-free for 5 monthsKundan was diagnosed with blood cancer at the end of 2014, when he was just about to be promoted to second grade. “He was an active kid who never rested for a minute. He would always be doing something – either studying or running around the neighbourhood with his friends. After he started getting recurrent fevers, we took him for a routine test at a clinic near our hometown of Azamgarh where the doctors told us that he has cancer and that we need to go to Mumbai quickly. Ever since then, he has been undergoing treatment in Mumbai and the entire family (including their two younger daughters) moved here with him,” says Shakuntala Devi, his mother.
This little boy was declared cancer-free after around 2.5 years of undergoing strong chemotherapy. The family relocated to their village in the hope that Kundan had become healthy once again. Although doctors had suggested rest, Kundan persisted that he wanted to go to school right away. For 5 months, everything was a breeze – the family was slowly getting used to their new life when he started getting fevers again. He was diagnosed with cancer again. He has been undergoing chemotherapy for the past few months, but doctors say that is not enough to save his life anymore. He needs a bone marrow transplant – or he could end up losing his life.
‘I don’t think I will be better ever, will I papa?’Now, Kundan has become so weak that he can hardly get up from bed to use the washroom. He is always in a daze due to the strong medicines. When he gets a little energy, he asks his dad why he can’t have a normal life like other children. Earlier, Ajay used to lie to his son saying he just has a fever and will be alright soon, but now Kundan has become more perceptive and understands that it is a lie. “The other day he asked me if he will ever be better, if he was going to die, tears streaming down his cheeks. I was dumbfounded. I hugged him and said I won’t let anything bad happen to him, but the truth is I don’t have the money to save him,” says Ajay.
This barber can save his son with your helpIt was quite easy for Ajay, a barber, to find work in a saloon in Mumbai even though the city was alien to him. But the problem was that he has not been able to go to work regularly due to his son’s hospitalization.
“I had to run from pillar to post for every small thing – whether it is buying medicines or meeting doctors for updates. The days I do go to the saloon, I earn anywhere between Rs 200 to Rs 800; it depends on which day of the week it is. But with such a meagre income, I cannot manage Kundan’s medical expenses. I borrow regularly from the kind people in our village and have already incurred a lot of debt. I cannot pay for Kundan’s expensive transplant, please help me save my son,” he begs.Your kind contribution can help this barber save his son