“After losing the last two babies, we had given up hope. Senthil is even more precious to us because he thrived. He is God’s gift to us.”
13-year-old Senthil Kumar is all his parents wished for, but he has been suffering from a difficult illness since birth. Now at a critical stage, Senthil has a high-risk blood cancer that needs intensive treatment including two cycles of chemotherapy followed by a bone-marrow transplant. It is the only way he can survive.
Selvi and Ravi, the loving parents did everything right for their child who was struggling with severe anemia. He needed frequent transfusions, a sterile environment to avoid infection and a lot of care to ensure he got better. Though they lacked financial backing, Ravi, a flour-mill operator did his best to nurse his son back to health.
When Senthil got better, these parents heaved a sigh of relief. It was short-lived as soon after, he came home extremely weak, vomiting anything he ate, showing more symptoms of his illness. Realizing that his worst fears might have come true, Ravi rushed his son to the hospital.
“The anemia was back. He did not respond to the treatment, and they found out he had cancer.”
Senthil was diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. It had reached a stage where he needed an equally aggressive treatment to pull him out of the deep end. With their financial background, it was difficult for Ravi to give the care Senthil needed at this time. However, the family has been taking a loan, exhausting their savings, and requesting everyone they know for help in this situation.
Senthil is a quiet, sensitive child who is handling the rigors of the treatment well. “Everyone likes Senthil. He never complains to the nurses and he is handling his pain very well.”
At school, Senthil is known for finishing his work on time and being the one teachers can count on. “He misses school. Because we are here in Chennai, his friends from Gudiyatham have not visited. Even then, they call him on the phone to tell him what's happening in school.”
In the last month, Senthil has undergone one cycle of chemotherapy and has three more grueling cycles left. Unfortunately, he has developed a fungal infection in his lung – a direct complication due to cancer. He needs salvage chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant to help him beat this disease. Since he has no siblings and no familial match, they have to opt for a stem-cell donor from the registry which is an additional cost.
The bone-marrow procedure will cost Rs 20 lakhs. It is an amount Senthil's parents, with a monthly income of Rs 10,000, cannot hope to arrange. As it is, they have already spent Rs 10 lakhs in giving him treatment so far. They have spent all that they had saved and borrowed from friends and relatives.
After losing two children already, Ravi and Selvi are very afraid for Senthil.
Your contribution can help them save their precious son.
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.
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