Avirup has started going to college only last year. He is an English Honours student in Chandannagar Government College in West Bengal. My son is a fine writer and loves literature. In spite of our poverty, we have not let anything come in the way of his education.
I work in a private firm in Panagarh, West Bengal, while my wife, Anushua, Avirup and my parents stay in Chandannagar. I am the only working member of the family and my modest income of just Rs 5,000 is hardly enough for a family of five. The cost of every thing is so high that sometimes I feel we will have to stop eating.
I have struggled my entire life to keep my family smiling. I am grateful to my stars that my child has never been demanding. My son told me that he would start working soon so my troubles are lessened.
Life isn’t the same for Avirup anymoreAvirup was always an active child. He goes to college, helps his mother at home and does every household activity since I am not with them. But from last month, Avirup used to get very fatigued and feverish. The fever didn’t go away even after days. He also developed rashes all over his body.
We took him to the doctors who immediately referred us to a hospital in Kolkata. When the tests were carried out there, we couldn’t believe our ears. The doctors said that my young, soulful son had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a severe type of blood cancer. I had no idea how will we convey this deadly news to our son who is so full of life.
Struggling between death and pain from the disease, Avirup chooses to live
My son isn’t of an age where he won’t understand anything. He is also too old for us to hide the truth from him. This was the most difficult thing I have ever done as a parent. The decision to tell my boy that no, he could not go to college once his fever broke because he had cancer.
I asked Avirup's cousin to come to our rescue. They are close and maybe he would find the words that we as his parents couldn't find. He explained to my child what was the problem and what he’ll be put through. Surprisingly, he was more positive and hopeful than Anushua or I were in this situation. I can see the urge to live in his eyes. But the doubt and fear is painful. I hope no father ever has to see his child in such a condition.
Once an active young boy, is now tired all the time. Whenever his platelets drop, he starts bleeding. He can barely eat and has lost 5-7kgs in just 2 weeks. I am scared that he will never be the same again.
When we first got the news, Anushua, being a mother, was very upset. Blood cancer is a deadly word for any person, let alone for such a poor family. But seeing Avirup so positive towards life, she has gathered herself. As have I.
We’re in Kolkata for Avirup’s treatment and I end up spending Rs 600-700 every day. I have stopped going to work for a month now. There has been no support from my office in these difficult times. I am not sure if I will be allowed to work anymore.
I have received a little help from almost all my relatives. None of them are very well-off. Avirup’s friends and professors also came forward and helped. I hope to request them to waive off my son's fees so that my poverty doesn't kill Avirup's future. Adulthood started with such a big tragedy, I want him to at least finish studying.
I will lose my job soon. But I need to save my son’s life first. The cost of treatment is piling every day. Also, the tension of finding a new job at this age haunts me every moment.
I have already spent Rs 2.5 lakhs in just a month. I have exhausted every possible way to get funds. I can’t let my young son who has his entire bright life ahead of him, die.
How can you help?I have devoted everything to my son. Chemotherapy is the only way to save him. But the cost of saving my only child is Rs 10 lakhs and I have no way left.
Your support can save Avirup.