"He brushed it off as a result of late night studying and we believed him. Soon, his walking got wobbly and he would often be quite unbalanced on his feet. We got MRI scans done at so many hospitals because it was impossible for us to accept that Danish had brain cancer. He was only 24 at the time! Eventually, with treatment, he was able to beat cancer... But we never expected it to come back and ravage his life again!" - Zoya, sister
Brain cancer crawled back into Danish’s life, deadlier than beforeDanish suffers from brain stem glioma, a tumour in between his brain and spinal cord. A surgery is not an option because any intervention in this critical area can give him devastating neurological damage. He first fought and beat cancer after a long and arduous battle, in 2017, following which he resumed his normal life. From driving to preparing for his police service career - he had been looking forward to the future. But his happiness lasted only 2 years.
One day, in February 2020, Danish's carbon-dioxide levels suddenly spiked dangerously. He was gasping for air and his finger nails turned blue. By the time they reached the hospital, he was completely out of his senses. He was immediately rushed to the ICU and his sister's worst fears came true when his cancer relapse was confirmed. Now at 30 years of age, Danish is completely bed-ridden due to quadriparesis, weakness in all his limbs. He needs neuro and pulmonary rehabilitation for months, along with intensive hospital care, that will cost his family 32 lakhs.
He was unaware of his father's sudden demise, while he battled for his life in the ICU
"At the onset of his relapse, when Danish was in the ICU, my dad had to be hospitalized after his health deteriorated suddenly. He passed away only days later, and we had to hide it from Danish for weeks after he regained his senses, fearing he wouldn't be able to bear the trauma. With my father no more, and my elder brother on a ventilator at the same time, I didn't know what to do or where to go. There was even a point in time where I didn't want to live anymore. I just didn't know why Allah was punishing us like this." - Zoya, sister
After a few surgeries following his relapse, Danish had to be completely shifted to a liquid diet. He would aspirate, and whatever he ate went to his lungs worsening his condition. He had to undergo a tracheostomy because his windpipe had become narrow. Since then he hasn't been able to speak a single word or swallow any food orally. Currently, he is on BIPAP support because he can’t breathe on his own.
She prioritised being a mother for her ailing child, over being a wife
"I'm yet to grieve my husband's sudden demise, because Danish was fighting for his life too, and I had to be his mother first before being a widow. I appeal to everyone who is reading this, to not only support us financially, but also send Danish your precious dua (prayers). Allah has shown us this day, and we never know whose prayer will be heard for my Danish to be saved. This mother will forever be indebted to you." - Roma, mother
His younger sister is relentlessly trying to bring her brother back on his two feetDanish's family has spent almost a crore on his treatment, until now. From their assets to savings, this previously well-to-do family has exhausted everything, and are now in a state where 32 lakhs is a matter of life and death for them. Zoya is just 26 years old and single-handedly holding up the fort. Without Danish, Zoya and Roma will crumble to pieces and not have a family anymore.
"At times, Danish teases me and gestures to me to get married and start my life afresh. But I have promised myself that I won't do that until he is back on his feet. I can see a life ahead of me only with Danish and my mother in it. Danish deserves that chance. If there is something that I've learnt from him, it is to never give up no matter what curveball life throws at us." - Zoya, sister
Please click here to contribute to Zoya's campaign to save her brother, Danish, from brain cancer.