"Who could imagine that when your child says she has a headache, it could be due to a brain tumor?
Though she may look like any other 10-year-old, that’s exactly what happened to my poor daughter! At the age when she should be playing with her friends, she’s fighting a deadly brain cancer instead!" — Om Prakas, father
In late October 2020, just weeks after her 10th birthday, when Himakshi went to her parents and told them she had a bad headache and then vomited a few minutes later, they came to a conclusion that any one of us would’ve probably reached.
“We thought it was probably due to her online classes, because she had started using the phone for long hours. So we got her some simple headache medicines prescribed at a local clinic and thought that was the end of that. We had no idea it would be so much more...” — Om Prakash, unable to continue
‘My sister died of the same type of cancer, there’s no time to waste!’
“For the next few weeks, her condition just kept getting worse. We got her glasses, took her to one clinic after the other. Finally, one doctor suggested we get a CT scan and... we saw that she had a huge tumor in her brain! The doctor told us we had no time to waste; he told us how his sister had died due to the same cancer, because she hadn’t received treatment in time! We rushed her to a big hospital and got her surgery done. Once again, we thought that was the end of it, but the doctor told us she could still die if she didn’t get chemotherapy and radiation as well. But the cost is just too much!” — Preeti, mother
Cancer is taking a toll on her fragile body
Himakshi has medulloblastoma, a tumor that begins in the brain or spinal cord, mostly affecting the parts of the brain involved in muscle coordination, balance, and movement. Though the surgery bought her some time, only a full course of chemotherapy and radiation can fully cure her. The surgery also left some collateral damage - partially paralyzing Himakshi, taking away her voice, and leaving her unable to control her eyes. The poor 10-year-old can only suffer quietly - cancer is taking a toll on her, leaving her too tired to even sit up.
You're their only hope now
“I’ve already spent close to 6 lakhs. I’m just a farmer, where am I supposed to arrange the rest of this money? I’ve tried my best, begging and borrowing as much as I can from anyone who could help me, but it’s still nowhere near enough. You’re my only chance now, the only shot my Himakshi has at recovering from this god-forsaken cancer and coming home to us safe and sound, a happy little girl again!”