Earlier this January, baby Sri Visaagan celebrated his first birthday. Sri had just begun to drag his walker all around the house, and he did so without a pause on his birthday. Everyone doted over him. But things changed that very night when his parents realized he had not passed motion all day.
They took Sri to the doctor for constipation, but he was diagnosed with a deadly cancer
“Four days later his stomach started swelling up, and his temperature raised. We took him to the doctor thinking it was just constipation. But after a blood test, the doctor told us that it might be something bigger…like cancer! We refused to accept it and travelled from Salem to Coimbatore hoping against hopes that the test comes negative. But we were slapped back into reality! Our 1-year-old baby had cancer!” – Chandra Sekar, father.
Baby Sri’s cancer treatment began successfully …but a deadlier disease intervenedBaby Sri was diagnosed with an acute lymphoblastic leukemia - a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Identified earlier, the doctors promised a 90% cure with 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Thus, he was immediately admitted and his treatment, begun. After a month’s treatment he showed great improvement, and they were asked to come back after a week’s time for the next cycle of his treatment. But just when his parents began to get hopeful, Sri was diagnosed with another life-threatening sickness.
Diagnosed with a severe case of pneumonia, the doctors told them baby Sri might not survive
“We wanted to keep him happy, and forget all about cancer for a week till the next cycle. But the very next day, he suffered from a very high fever and a severe wheezing. We rushed him right back to Coimbatore and there, for two days, we were in the dark. He was diagnosed with a severe pneumonia and the doctors said they didn’t know if he could be saved at all! Our world came crashing down. We hadn’t yet come to terms with his battle with cancer, but…there was another, worse than that. For 10 days, he was in the ICU fighting for life! But…he came back to us!” – Sheela.
Stuck in a lockdown due to the pandemic, his father can’t afford his treatmentWorking in a private company, Chandra Sekar solders silver and makes anklets for a living and earned 10,000 a month. When his wife and son went to Coimbatore went for the treatment, Sekar stayed back so he could earn money, promising to visit them every week. But now, stuck in his town due to the lockdown and with no job in hand, he’s struggling t o afford Sri’s chemotherapy.
“I haven’t seen him for two weeks now! If I had known, I wouldn't have come back at all. Till now we’ve spent over 5 lakhs, having sold all our jewellery and borrowed from everyone I knew. But I can’t anymore. We need 5 lakhs more, and 1.5 years of medication. I don't know how I will give him that. I am here and I imagine things – worst possible things! Please help me save him!” – Chandra sekar.
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