'Just when it was time to step out into the world, Siddika's leg gave way'Siddika felt shooting pain in her calf muscle. It was the first time, Kalimuddin (father), saw her vomit from the pain. He knew it was not normal, having lost almost lost all function in his right leg in a terrible accident four years ago.
“We went to several hospitals in West Bengal and never found an answer. Finally we travelled to Bengaluru where we were told that Siddika has a nerve tumor. She needed a surgery to remove the tumor.” - Kalimuddin
An old photo of Siddika and Kalimuddin
Siddika consoles her family during these dark timesNoorjahan’s heart broke when she told her 15-year-old daughter about a tumor that could either cripple her or kill her. Surprisingly, Siddika remained strong and asked her parents to have faith in Allah.
“She does not let the pain shake her will. She vomits constantly. Can you imagine how strong she must be to not even scream when it hurts? She only asks us if this means she cannot be a doctor. I still do not know how to answer her.” - Noorjahan
‘I want to save my daughter, but it is impossible with a disability and poverty'Shuttling between the hospital and home with his daughter takes a toll on Kalimuddin’s health. His right leg is numb with pain even after 4 surgeries. On some days he has to beg relatives to help him.
“They have done so much for me already by helping with my treatment. I am in a huge debt. Somehow, with a lot of difficulty I could arrange money for Siddika’s surgery last month. Now, she needs radiotherapy. I feel so helpless.” - Kalimuddin
They need all the help they can getKalimuddin’s family is completely dependent on friends and relatives for a place to stay and even a meal. He used to walk 6km to teach at the Madrassa every day. Now, he begs colleagues for a lift. He is the sole breadwinner for the family of five including three children.
“As a parent, you want to do everything possible for your child. My husband hides his pain, my children hide their fear, and I hide my grief. I’m afraid this struggle will kill us all without help.” - Noorjahan
Siddika can be one step closer to her dream if you help her conquer the tumor.