Lumps all over, a swollen belly and a burning fever...Naveen was sufferingEarlier in August small lumps began showing up behind Naveen’s ears. But because it was painless, nobody worried about it. A few days later however, more such lumps showed up on his limbs, and head too.
“There were so many lumps all over his body; we’d never seen anything like that. The doctor at the clinic near our house gave a syrup and a few tablets. But nothing changed. Days later, he had a very high fever. His body was burning hot, and his stomach began swelling. He lost weight so quickly, and wasn’t eating anything. He was in so much pain; I did not understand what was happening to him!” – Lakshmi, mother.
They started his treatment but can't continue any furtherMultiple tests and scans followed, and Naveen was diagnosed with a high-risk T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – a cancer of the blood and bone-marrow that progresses rapidly, and can be fatal without proper treatment. While Naveen’s treatment began immediately, his parents can’t afford to continue it.
“He was admitted in the hospital, and his chemotherapy began. After a month of treatment, I was asked to get a bone marrow test done for Naveen, to see how he’d progressed. But hearing the cost involved in the test, I froze. I remember standing still for over 30 minutes, without a word. There’s no way I could afford it; and fate has it everything depends on this one test that I, till date, can’t afford. The future holds many more such bone-marrow tests. What am I going to do?” - Urukunda, father.
A son battling cancer, a pregnant wife, and empty pockets...Urukunda is in miseryUrukunda is a daily-wage labourer who lays bricks for a living. On days there’s work, he earns up to Rs 300. But there’s been no work in the recent times, with the pandemic in the picture. The treatment will cost 14 lakh rupees, and he’s helpless. He’s ready to go for weeks without a meal just so his wife and son can eat; but he can’t think, for even a second, of giving up on Naveen. You are his only hope.
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