This 13-Year-Old Was A Popular Dancer In School, But Cancer Has Made Her Weak and Unrecognisable | Milaap
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This 13-Year-Old Was A Popular Dancer In School, But Cancer Has Made Her Weak and Unrecognisable

Swapna is a 13-year-old girl with an aggressive blood cancer. She has been suffering for the last one year. Her father Shankarappa runs a tea-stall in Malgunda village in Karnataka. Her mother Pushpa is a housewife. They have exhausted all their savings and are struggling to continue the treatment.

Her parents travelled to hospitals in 6 different towns in a month to save her

The day Pushpa received a call from Swapna's school she knew that something was very wrong. Swapna had fainted. She had fever for the last one week but she had never fainted before. The medicines given by the doctors from the nearest town were not working. They knew they had to go to a better hospital. 

Swapna with her mother Pushpa in the hospital in Bangalore

Swapna was taken to another hospital. Even they could not identify why her fever did not go down. Her body seemed to be fighting a serious infection. Swapna was getting weaker and her parents did not know what to do and where to take her. 

After visiting two more clinics in different towns near their village they decided to go to Hubli. The doctors there were able to correctly diagnose Swapna's illness as blood cancer and recommended Vydehi Hospital, Bangalore. Swapna and her parents came to Bangalore in August last year. 

Swapna was a happy, bubbly child before she fell sick

“My husband goes back once in four days to open the shop. But I have not gone home in one year. We stay in a relative's house. My other daughters are at home on their own and keep hoping that we go back home soon,” says Pushpa with a catch in her voice. 

Swapna has lost her hair and she barely looks like herself

The family had a lot of dreams about Swapna. She is popular, good at studies and sports. "She is such an amazing dancer – everyone in the school admired her. She is very poised for her age and it sets her apart,” Pushpa recalls.

Swapna has been very sick the last one year and the treatment and the illness has taken a toll on her

In the last one year, illness has drastically altered Swapna's personality Pushpa says. She has had fever for one year – with only short breaks. She has taken 4 cycles of chemotherapy and needs to take few more to slow down the cancer spreading through her blood to other parts of herbody. 

Even with the PM's relief grant, the family needs another Rs 18 lakhs to get Swapna treatment for cancer. The family has already spent Rs 13 lakhs on the treatment so far. Raising 10 lakhs now is impossible for Sankarappa and Pushpa and they are despairing of saving their daughter. 

Pushpa (far left) with her daughters (left to right) Deepa, Suma and Swapna. Shankarappa and their eldest daughter Sangeeta stand at the right in this photo taken at a wedding in their village

With Shankarappa not being able to keep his tea stall open regularly – the family's incomes have dropped. He used to be able to earn Rs 20,000 per month earlier and now makes barely 3,000. They have used up all their savings and even sold off what little property they had. 

Swapna is waiting to get better and go back to school. You can help her get better

How you can help

Swapna is bravely fighting the condition and is looking forward to going back to school. Her parents however, are facing the very real prospect of not being able to save her. They need your support in saving Swapna. 

Supporting Documents

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 campaign organizer or the medical team.