“I didn’t understand what the doctor said. I don’t even know how to read or write. My son told me he has cancer, and that he could die because of it. He said it so bravely… he was so strong. But I couldn’t hide my tears. I started crying so much. Everything we’ve done till now is for his future... and now..” - Kavita, mother
The small mud house in a village near Bidar now lies empty. Kavita and Mahesh are in Bangalore for his cancer treatment. Mahesh’s younger sister lives with her relatives and Sanju is either working or desperately looking for ways to continue his son’s treatment.
Once strong-willed, Mahesh is now slowly losing hope7 months ago, Mahesh (12) returned home from school very sick. He told Kavita that he was throwing up everything he was eating, his whole body was in pain and he had a fever. Since that day, these poor farmers have spent 5 lakhs on Mahesh’s chemotherapy – all borrowed from so many different people. Now the chemo isn’t enough to save his life, he needs a bone marrow transplant soon.
“I can see the disease slowly changing him…he was mentally strong before all of this began. Now he’s not only losing physical strength but he’s also emotionally low on most days. He’s sad, angry… he’s only 12 after all. He just wants to go to school like all his friends.”
But Mahesh has a long way to go before he can be his old self again.
His father can’t even afford the train tickets to the hospital anymoreKavita and Sanju, who used to earn Rs. 150 per day by working on others’ farms, can’t save him. Sanju doesn’t even have the money to visit Mahesh in the hospital anymore.
“He can’t be here. It takes Rs. 500 to go and come from our village. That’s a lot of money! Mahesh misses his father being around. He wants him to be here… but he just can’t. If we save that 500, we can afford one strip of his tablets. We’re trying everything, saving every rupee possible. But it’s not enough. We’re very poor, we have no land, nothing! Think of him as your son and help me save him, please!”
Mahesh has his whole life ahead of him. He wants to study hard and help his parents just like how they have been selflessly doing everything for him. But cancer stands in the way. A bone marrow transplant can save this 12-year-old’s life.