"The minute Zikra sees any doctor she starts crying. She is always scared because she is in a lot of pain. It is worse because her mother is not here with her, and there is only so much comfort a father can be to his daughter."
5-year-old Zikra had a lump on her inner thigh which turned out to be something deadlier than a mosquito bite. Her parents rushed her to several doctors, and as the symptoms increased, her situation escalated until she was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. Zikra needs chemotherapy at the earliest to live her life.
Zikra is from a small village in the district of Bijapur. She lives with her parents, two younger sisters, grandparents, an uncle, aunt, and two cousins. She has a big happy family and a home that is always filled with love and laughter for the girl children. She is the oldest of the siblings, and very much loved by the elders in the family.
6 months ago, her mother noticed a lump on Zikra's thigh. Although it was not very painful, the concerned parents rushed her to the doctor who prescribed antibiotics hoping it was an infection. 15 days passed, and Zikra developed a high fever. Tests showed that her platelets were alarmingly low. She was immediately admitted to the hospital and given many transfusions to help with the condition. When her situation did not improve after 8 days, the doctor suggested getting another opinion.
"We took her to another hospital in Bijapur. There a doctor said I'll give her injections. Let us see for a few days. 15 days passed, it got worse."
Zikra now had a swelling in the stomach, a lump on her head, and was clearing writhing in pain. Her father, uncle, and grandmother rushed her to Bangalore where a doctor at Apollo deduced after a few tests that she had a rare and aggressive form of Blood Cancer.
"The treatment plan is to give chemotherapy. First, we need to come every week, then once in 15 days, continue for 6 months. Then we have to switch to tablets and visit Bangalore every month. Hopefully in 2 years, Zikra should be free of cancer."While it sounds simple, the family is far from relief. Zikra's father owns a general store back in the village which he runs with his brother. Together they earn Rs. 10,000/month which is hardly enough for the entire family. So far, they have spent Rs. 50,000 for her treatment and are knee deep in debt. They have no more savings left or any source of income as the shop is closed so they can care for Zikra in Bangalore.
"My wife is caring for our kids back home. I'm here with Zikra, and my brother is helping me arrange for some money. So our only source of income is also gone. I don't know what we will do if we cannot get funds. She is our child, our first child!"
The cost of treatment is estimated at Rs. 6,00,000. This baby girl is so young and fragile to be fighting against something so deadly and painful. Her family is doing everything possible to save her. She is also going through emotional hell staying away from her mother and sisters as she is fighting the biggest battle of her life.
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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 campaign organizer or the medical team.
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