Until just three months ago, 14-year-old Imran Mirza’s life was like most other boys’ his age. He loved watching superhero movies, he loved playing football with his friends. He was the apple of his parents’ eyes, and had a long life ahead of him. But a lot has changed in the past 90 days.
“When he had to use that wheelchair for the first time, he just couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to tell my son that everything would be okay but... I can't afford saving his life!” — Anowar, father, sobbing
Cancer is making this 14-year-old look like he's 9, the bloody bruises on his legs and body a painful symptom of his condition
‘I’m sorry but Imran has blood cancer, and it could kill him any day’
“It’s been three weeks since the doctor gave us that diagnosis. Upon reaching Bangalore, we had gotten Imran immediately admitted and they ran some tests. The cancer is advanced enough that only urgent chemotherapy can save his life, but the cost is far more than anything we can afford. This wretched disease has already reduced our son to skin and bones, and those bruises across his legs... the poor boy’s in pain every waking moment, and we’re unable to do anything about it!” — Shabana, mother
All this started with just a mild fever and a dull ache in Imran's legs. His parents had taken him to multiple local clinics for treatment, who had all prescribed one medication or the other. But over the next few weeks they only saw their son get increasingly weak, and eventually the pain was so bad he even started having trouble walking!
“We had rushed him to a bigger hospital then, but after a few weeks there they’d asked us to bring him to Bangalore, saying the problem was too big even for them! That simply terrified us so we wasted no time. Throughout the journey we kept praying it wouldn’t turn out to be anything bad but... the reality turned out to be far worse than anything we imagined.” — Shabana
‘If I sit, I can’t get up...’
“I just want the pain to stop. It’s been continuous for months now, and it hurts everywhere. My back, my arms, my chest. But the worst is the pain in my legs, because of the bruises that keep forming there. I feel weak all the time anyway, but because of the pain I can’t even move. If I sit, I can’t get up. All this is because of the cancer. Please, help my dad afford my treatment.” — Imran
Without timely treatment, Imran will not make it
“We were able to arrange around 3 lakhs. With that we got his chemotherapy started, but we’ve run out of money now. Anowar is back home, trying to arrange some more, but we’ve already borrowed from everyone we can. If we don't continue his treatment immediately, Imran could... Please, you’re our only hope now.” — Shabana