“Abu, when will my hair grow back? When I go back to school, I will have to braid my hair again,”9-year-old Mariyam has not been able to go to school for almost a year now. She eagerly waits to get back to school and meet her friends. She gets restless at even the thought of the games her friends would be playing, or of how much fun she is missing out on. She can't join them because her cancer has come back and this time more aggressively.
Mariyam was first diagnosed with cancer in 2016It was in January 2016 that a stubborn fever led Mariyam’s family to the doctor. When tests revealed that the intensity of the problem was much greater than expected, the family was referred to Manipal Hospitals.The blood samples were sent to Delhi for evaluation. When it returned, Mariyam’s parents were shocked and heart-broken. The little one was suffering from Blood Cancer.
She underwent chemotherapy for 6 months.Mariyam’s father Hassan sells clothes on the footpath for a living. His income was just about enough to make ends meet for his family of 5. When he heard chemotherapy could save his little girl, he did all he could to ensure she could get the treatment.He borrowed from his friends and family, and acquaintances who worked in the middle-east. During Ramadan, they collected around 10 Lakh.The chemotherapy helped, and Mariyam recovered soon
Mariyam had a relapse of Cancer within a year.In April 2017, Mariyam’s Cancer returned. In a moment, all the efforts Hassan had made looked futile. He had hardly been able to heave a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, Mariyam had just re-joined school. It was already time for her to leave her friends and return to the terribly slow and painful life in the hospital. This time, it broke her. The little one just became silent and withdrawn, almost as though she were giving up on herself.
But this time she can say goodbye to cancer forever if her family can afford treatment. Little Mariyam does not want to live with a constant threat to her life. No child should have to. Every day, she gives up on herself a little more. She had waited very patiently the first time. This time, she cannot hold on, the same way. She is only 9 after all.However, she does have a chance.
A Bone Marrow Transplant can cure her completely.She can live her life without worrying about it ending. Little Mariyam can get her childish giggle back only with the assurance that Cancer will not come back to her life. A Bone Marrow Transplant can give her that. Hassan has nobody else to go to. Every possible person he could reach out to has already helped them with what they could.
“She is a very kind girl, and cannot hurt anybody. She knows I struggled a lot to get her treated. So, she keeps telling me it does not hurt her, but I have seen how this disease has eaten into her life. She has become so quiet, and looks very frail. It has destroyed her on the inside. But she keeps saying she is fine, and will recover and go to school soon. Sometimes I forget I am keeping her alive. It seems like she is keeping me alive.”
How you can help.By supporting her treatment through this fundraiser, you can help 9-year-old Mariyam get a Cancer-free life. She is too young to be worried about dying. She has a long life ahead of her.