“You said I was fine, Appa! Why did you bring me back to the hospital? Are you punishing me? I’ll be a good boy! Promise!” says 6-year-old Tejas, everytime that he is taken to the hospital for chemotherapy.After nearly a year of gruelling chemotherapy and medications, Tejas was finally told that he could go back home again. Doddamoge Gowda and Jagadamba thought their son had survived the worst. They felt blessed to have their son alive after a very difficult battle with cancer. Unfortunately, their happiness was tragically short-lived. 6-year-old Tejas’s cancer relapsed and is now deadlier than ever. He needs an urgent bone-marrow transplant to live.
After a gruelling fight, this boy's pain came to an end, but for a short timeTejas was just 3 years old, when he was diagnosed with blood cancer. Since the disease was aggressive, his parents wasted no time in starting chemotherapy. It took a year, and in June 2017, Tejas was given a clean bill of health. The little boy managed to beat cancer and get through the pain. However, just as he was going to resume normal life and go to school, the symptoms reappeared.
“I remember how he used to cry of leg pain all those years ago. We thought it was an excuse to get out of school. Then came the fever, and we got anxious. No medicine helped control his pain or temperature. A blood test told us this was cancer. This time, he said ‘Appa, you said the medicines will take away my pain. Now, again, I cannot walk. It pains a lot.’ We directly went back to his oncologist and got another set of tests done.”
Within a few months, Tejas was thrown back into his worst nightmareTejas was excited to play with his friends like he usually did, all day long, out on their porch. Now, this baby boy is confined to the hospital bed, terrified of needles, crying all day long to go back home. His cancer is back, more aggressive than before, and so he needs aggressive chemotherapy to beat it again.
“Although the doctors and staff have tried to get him used to the hospital, he keeps kicking and screaming because he is terrified of blood and injections. He does not go out because he is embarrassed about the chemoport in his hand. He doesn’t want his friends to see him like this. To keep him occupied, we play Carrom with him.”
Doddamogge has not received his salary in monthsDoddamogge is a Kannada teacher at a local school. He had to quit his job as he could not keep taking days off to care for his son at the hospital. In fact, he did not even receive his salary for the last two months of his tenure. Living on borrowed money of Rs. 10000, this family does not know how to save their child for the second time.
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“I cannot even afford to keep our home running on Rs. 10000, and now we need to figure out how to pay for his medical bills. I never thought we would be in this situation again. Now, we need Rs. 30 lakhs to save Tejas. He needs a bone marrow transplant. If he does not get this surgery after the current chemo cycles, we will lose him.”Tejas has fought this dreadful disease for a long time now. His bravery is keeping him alive now, not for long. With your support, this little boy can beat cancer forever.