“I was crushed when my father passed away recently and I spent all I had on his last rites. Within a few days, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Now I need lakhs to save her, when I don’t even have hundreds left.” - Nataraj, father of 10-year-old Aruna.
Little Aruna’s health started worsening after her grandfather’s death; her fever turned out to be something sinisterNataraj’s father had succumbed to a bad bout of tuberculosis. It was an extremely sensitive period for this tight-knit family. Their tears were still fresh when Aruna started falling sick more often.
Aruna, before cancer made her weak and frail
“She started looking very frail and weak. When she started losing weight rapidly, we became worried and took her to a local doctor in our hometown of Tumkur. Soon, she developed a high-grade fever that could not be controlled by medicines. A blood test confirmed that she had acute blood cancer. My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief when the doctor said that. We have not been able to come to terms with it till date”-Mangala
Aruna's arms hurt a lot because of cancer
She had to be started on chemo immediately as her cancer could turn fatal without treatmentNataraj was still in disbelief about his daughter’s health even after the doctors told him clearly about the deadly disease that was killing her. But he knew very well that he did not have much time to waste. He did not hesitate to beg and borrow money from friends as he had already exhausted his savings recently.
“It was so difficult for me to tell my friends that I did not have money, but my daughter’s life was more important. Somehow I made sure that she got chemotherapy at the earliest. I knew I would be neck-deep in debt but it did not matter”-Nataraj
Little Aruna cries in pain because her arms and legs hurtCancer has turned the high-spirited, happy girl who loved going to school to a morose child who always complains of irritability. Pain has taken over the joints of her arms and legs to the extent that all Aruna can do is cry her lungs out and pine for her sister’s company.
“Aruna wants to meet her sister all the time but doctors have advised against it. One day we gave in to her tantrums and brought Rakshitha to meet her. When she left, Aruna’s condition became worse. It is so disheartening to watch the people I love the most go through this – even I want to cry, but if I do, who will try and arrange funds for my child’s treatment? I have gone to each and everybody I know but nothing has materialized”-NatarajAruna and her family were happy before this unfortunate turn of events
This 10-year-old does not know that she will die if she is without treatment
“Aruna tells me every day to call up her principal and tell her that she will come to school soon. My child thinks she has a small problem…little does she know she has a life-threatening disease that can kill her without treatment. We want to get her the treatment she deserves, but my husband cannot afford it. He is doing everything he can, but we fear our daughter is slipping away from us”-Mangala
Nataraj works as a cable operator in a small cable company in Tumkur. He used to earn Rs 10,000 per month but his salary has taken a hit because the cable business has not been very profitable in recent times. He was planning to switch to a more stable job when his father passed away suddenly and now his daughter is very sick. Only chemotherapy can save Aruna now and it costs 6.50 lakhs.
“I had spent all that I had saved up on my father’s funeral. Now, I need a lot of money to save Aruna – just the trips to Bengaluru have been so expensive, how will I afford the treatment? My daughter’s innocent face gives me a lot of nightmares nowadays. In these bad dreams, she is dying. Please help me so that this doesn’t happen in real life”-Nataraj pleads