A family with humble rootsBaby is a small village 85 kms from Bangalore. Mahesh, 33, lives there with his wife and two children. His cousins from the city tease him about his rustic ways but every one of them admires his commitment to carrying on the family legacy.Mahesh is a priest at the family temple. Through fair and foul times, he is responsible for the temple and its devotees. But being a full-time priest of a small village temple means no fixed salary and living only on contributions from devotees. He doesn't mind the lack of money, but never has he felt his limitations so sharply as right now, when he needs Rs 25 lakhs for his son Siddesh's bone-marrow transplant.
Mahesh has mortgaged the family's only asset – their small home in Baby, but that has raised only Rs 4 lakhs. They have spent close to Rs 6 lakhs already on Siddesh's treatment so far.
The most trying timeThe family's nightmares started this March when Siddesh had a fever that would not go away. When it got worse and he began vomiting blood, he was rushed to the hospital in Mysore. He was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia with a complete failure of bone-marrow function. As a result, there is no production of red, white blood cells or platelets.
Every mild infections can be life threatening. Unfortunately, Siddesh failed to respond to immunosuppression. The only option to save Siddesh is with a bone marrow transplant. This treatment has to be started while he is free of infections. as long as the family can arrange funds.
Siddesh's mother Bharati, doesn't know the name of this disease. All she knows is, if her son is not treated, his life will be in danger. She will donate the stem-cells needed for her son to get better. At present, his situation is being managed by weekly blood transfusions and medicines. The family spends over Rs 8,000 per month.
“Day and night, I pray for Siddu. Because we want him to be strong, we tell him he will get better. When I can't control my tears, he starts crying too,” Bharati says.
Siddesh, 9, was always a quiet child. His more boisterous brother Mallesh, was often told to be more like him. To work harder at studies like Siddesh did. This year, both Siddesh and his brother are not going to school, so that Siddesh doesn't catch any infections. But Mallesh, 13, knows that his brother's health is more important that 'failing' an year in school.
Siddesh is getting treatment from Narayana Hrudayalaya and lives with his uncle Lokesh in Bangalore. “Even though our relatives don't have money, they help us out. We stay in my brother's house and he takes us to the hospital and takes all the precautions so Siddesh doesn't catch any infections,” she says. Siddesh has a good chance of survival and recovery from Aplastic Anemia if he gets a transplant.
How you can helpSiddesh's family needs to arrange funds to find a donor as well as money for the transplant and after care. The family has managed to raise only Rs 6 lakhs from their family.With no source of monthly income, they are stretched to their limit to provide medicines for him.
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The specifics of this case have been verified by the medical team at the concerned hospital. For any clarification on the treatment or associated costs, contact the champion or the medical team. Click here to contact the organisers.