“All the things that once made him happy, don’t even bring a small smile on his face now. I try talking to him about school or cricket, and he just lies on the bed, turning the other way. ‘why can’t we just go back home appa, why do I need these injections’ he asks me every day. I have nothing comforting to say to him.” – Kayum Pasha, Father.
What started as a mild fever soon turned out to be a dangerous diseaseKayum and Tabassum will never be able to forget the day they found out about their son’s grave disease. What started as a mild fever, soon became an unbearable pain in his stomach and limbs. The worried parents soon took him from Raichur to Bangalore for tests. After several tests, Kayum and Tabassum sat in the doctor’s cabin, eagerly waiting for the reports. “I’m scared, I can feel that something terrible is going to happen,” Tabassum told Kayum, and she was right.
Yusuf was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system that helps the immune system fight infections. Little Yusuf needs chemotherapy for the next 6 months to survive.
Yusuf was a cheerful and active boy, but cancer is making him weaker by the day
“Yusuf is everyone’s favourite. His teachers always told me that he studied very well, and was extremely helpful and sensitive. He would share his food with everyone and never made any child feel left out. If he saw someone sitting alone, he would join them and play with them. Yusuf is only 8-years-old, but he often says that he will become a police officer when he grows up and help people. Now he’s getting weaker by the day. Sometimes he throws up even the medicines he takes.” - Kayum
Kayum, a school teacher, can’t afford the chemotherapy that can save his son's lifeWhile there’s hope for little Yusuf to get better with chemotherapy, Kayum and Tabassum can’t afford it. Kayum teaches Kannada in a government school near his hometown in Raichur, Karnataka, and is the sole breadwinner of the family. With the devastating news of his son’s cancer, he was determined to do everything to save him. He reached out to everyone he knew and managed to collect 4 lakhs. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough.
“I don’t have the strength to the say the word cancer. I just tell everyone that he’s very sick and I need all the help that I can get. But now I’ve exhausted everything I had on his tests and in starting the treatment. I can’t afford the 12 lakhs needed to continue his treatment for the next 6 months.” - Kayum