“Some people don’t want to touch me because they will get infected. They don't invite me homes thinking their children will be infected too. Sometimes, people don’t want to sit next to me while eating thinking I might pass on my disease. I feel sad and alone.
Though his illness is not contagious, life has been hard for 23-year-old Sukanta Das. Hailing from rural Tripura, Sukanta was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder when he was just 6 months old. Due to extreme poverty, he hasn’t been able to acquire medicines for many years and now, only a bone marrow transplant can save his life.
Sukanta at the hospital
Sukanta has been suffering all his lifeSukanta has Thalassemia Major, a severe blood disorder where the body produces abnormal blood cells. He was diagnosed when was just 6 months old. In all his 23 years, he has been very weak, unable to work continuously, study as much as he’d want or play the sport he loves.
“I love cricket but I can’t play properly because I can’t exert myself much. I get breathless really soon and have severe back pain. I can’t eat properly. Even if I eat a little bit, I vomit the food. Over the past year, I’ve been extremely weak with headaches lasting for days, every month.” – Sukanta
Sukanta needs to take blood transfusion twice every month, and that is the only thing that gives him any relief. He also needs to purchase costly medicines to get rid of the extra iron coming into his body because of blood transfusions. Though his parents have made a lot of sacrifices to keep him alive, they find it very hard to purchase his medicines regularly.
“We can’t afford the medicine, which costs around Rs10,000 every month. I just buy medicines for Rs 2,000 and make do somehow. Over the years, we’ve sold our cattle, our small farm and raised money for my monthly requirements.”
Sukanta and his mother, Mohina
Sukanta had no means to come to BangaloreBesides the blood transfusion, there are no facilities to treat Thalessemia in Tripura. Sukanta's friend suggested that he come to Bangalore for treatment that would finally cure him. Due to extreme poverty, he couldn’t even afford to gather the funds needed to travel to Bangalore.
Sukanta's condition is critical because his body has a harmful overload of iron. He managed to collect some funds from people in the village to come to Bangalore. Sukanta’s only hope of survival is an immediate bone-marrow transplant followed by further conditioning treatments. Luckily, his sister is a suitable donor for the transplant.
“For this (the transplant), I have to stay in Bangalore for 6 months. I don’t know what to do because there is no way we can afford it. If the transplant is not done immediately, I could die soon.” – Sukanta
Sukanta is ambitious but his condition hasn’t helped him pursue his dreamsSukanta is currently in the final year of B.A. in Political Science and Education. His dream is to get his Masters' and work within the government and teach students but his condition doesn’t allow him to study or work much.
“I go to college just once in two weeks, as I’m extremely weak. The teachers are nice and helpful and allow me to study from home and send notes from their classes. The problem is that my head starts hurting and eyes start watering when I start studying. ” - Sukanta
Sukanta’s parents have no way to provide for the transplantSunil Das, Sukanta’s father, is a farmer who earns around Rs 6,000 every month. Sukanta’s mother, Mohina, is a housewife. They’ve done all they could to keep their son alive all these years. They’ve sold and sacrificed all their possessions and are now, helpless.
The total cost of the bone-marrow transplant and further conditioning is estimated to be around Rs 30,00,000. Sukanta and his family, simply, can’t afford to pay for the life-saving transplant he needs.
How you can helpSukanta Das is a 23-year-old living with a terrible condition for years. Now, he has little time to get the life-saving bone marrow transplant but, his parents are extremely poor with no financial means to provide for his treatment. Sukanta needs your help to survive and lead a life without pain.
Your contribution will save Sukanta’s life.