“He’s even stopped talking to us now. Other children around him in the cancer ward cry every time they’re poked, but now he’s too weak and scared to even do that. I try to stay strong for him, but when I’m reminded of how he was before the disease, I break down.” - Kallangouda, father
Samarth was unstoppable before cancer – always joyful and activeSamarth started going to nursery. He was the first to get ready at home, and always picked out his outfits for school. Instead of eating his breakfast in the morning, he would tell Kallangouda and Geetha stories that he had made up. It was a happy home. Until little Samarth was diagnosed with blood cancer one month ago.
“The hospital visits, tests and finally starting chemotherapy completely changed him. In just a few weeks, our son became so sullen and weak. It’s shocking. He barely even responds to us anymore. He had even stopped eating because of the painful blisters in his mouth.” - Kallangouda
Samarth needs 6 more cycles of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to fight this dreadful disease that can kill him.
His father is the sole breadwinner – delivering newspapers for a minimal income hasn’t left them with any savingsKallangouda is a newspaper delivery man in Dharwad, Karnataka. His day begins as early as 4 am, as he goes around on his scooter delivering the daily paper around the area. Every Friday after work, he would go to a nearby sweet shop and buy his older son and Samarth their favourite peda (Indian sweet). It was the little joys that kept the family going. Although he earned a minimal amount from his job, they were content. Those days now seem like a distant memory to the parents as they sit in the cancer ward where their son is undergoing treatment.
“As parents, you never think that this is something you should be prepared for. No one in our family had cancer. Our lives were going on like any other humble family. Now we have nothing. We’re in Bangalore, with no place to stay or anyone to help us. We want our old Samarth back, I will do anything to see him smile again.”