“It feels like I’m living in a nightmare because life is just being so cruel. My poor child. He is such a bright little boy, and did so well in school. He’d often tell me how keen he was to study well and become a policeman or a teacher. He never needed us as much as his older sister, who is a special needs child. I was content seeing him grow up to be such a fine young boy. But then this disease… it took a hold of him, and now he’s withering away right in front of me.” - Shyamu, mother
He hurt his leg after a fall and days later, his stomach started to swell3 months ago, Little Dilip had been playing with his friends in the streets of his village, when he was pushed backwards and fell to the ground. He’d first tried to wave it off as a normal injury. But when he got back up, he struggled to stand on his feet.
“He started limping, but we weren’t too worried about it initially, because these things often tend to occur when children play. But within the next 5 days, his hip began to hurt and then his whole body. Slowly, even his stomach started to swell, and that’s how I knew that something was very wrong.” - Chen Singh, father
They went from one hospital to another, hoping to get their child treatedShyamu and Chen Singh took their son to a local doctor. Suspecting Dilip's symptoms to be caused by something else entirely, he was reffered to a bigger hospital. From their hometown in rural Madhya Pradesh, the family shuffled through several bigger hospitals in Indore and Ujjain, with help from their Village Head. Finally, in a hospital in Mumbai, they learned what was troubling their son.
“We are uneducated and don't really understand most of these things. But when someone tells you that your child’s life is at risk, you know that it is serious. They told us that Dilip has a disease that affects 2 in 40 children and it had spread to his whole body. I felt my blood run cold at those words and begged for them to save my son. Even though we had little to nothing in our pockets, we managed to get him started on his treatment.” - Shyamu
He suffers from a disease that most commonly affects childrenDilip was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. It is a disease in which cancer cells form in the immature nerve tissues (neuroblasts) in the adrenal glands, on top of each kidney. Neuroblastoma may also begin in nerve tissue in the neck, chest, pelvis and bones, and is sometimes caused by a gene mutation passed from the parent to the child.
His cancer is spreading rapidly, but his parents cannot afford his expensive surgeryDilip is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment and has finished 4 cycles so far. But, a stem-cell transplant is the only curative treatment to ensure that his cancer doesn't relapse. He needs it as soon as possible to avoid any complications, since his cancer has already started spreading. But his parents can never afford the exorbitant expenses of this procedure.
“I am the breadwinner of my family, and as a daily-wage labourer, my income barely gets us through most days. This past year has been so difficult for us with the pandemic taking away my source of livelihood…There were days where we went hungry because of how difficult the situation was. I have already spent 2 lakh rupees and even sold whatever land I had. Because I am by his side at the hospital, I haven't even been able to work. 7 lakh rupees is an amount I can never afford... How will I save my child with no money?” - Chen Singh
With their son’s life hanging by a thread, these parents are desperate to save him, but are falling short of doing so because of poverty. They need your help to save him. Your contributions can be of immense help to Dilip. Click here to donate!