‘We didn’t even know that he had cancer until much later’Ritam, his elder brother Rutam (9) and his parents, Sharath and Mosumi belong to a small town in Jharkhand. Sharath earns a living as a purohit at a local temple. The couple is illiterate couple did not understand when a local doctor asked them to head to Bengaluru for Ritam, whose condition was critical.
"He just had a fever. I thought he will give medicines but he insisted we leave on the next train. So we did." - MosumiAn old photo of Ritam with his father
'I thought it is a disease for the rich'It took the doctor a while to explain Ritam's cancer to Sharath. Ritam has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer that affects his immune system. He needed to start on chemotherapy immediately.
"We had only heard of celebrities fighting cancer. I thought it was disease for the rich. We were not prepared for this diagnosis. I prayed, gathered all my savings, took help from everyone and started his chemotherapy." - Musomi
The fight is almost over, all he needs is a little helpRitam went through grueling months of painful chemotherapy, tiring days and sleepless nights. He has lost weight, hair, and even the spark that made him Ritam. This little boy’s last round of chemotherapy was on the 16th December. He has a reason to be happy. No more nausea or vomiting. His hair can grow back, and best of all, he can go to school.
"These days he is happier. He keeps asking when we can go home. I still do not have an answer. He is still not free of cancer. He still needs treatment for the next 2 years." - SharathAn old photo of Ritam with his mother
Help Ritam take the last step towards a cancer-free lifeRitam needs follow-up cancer treatment which includes maintenance therapy, regular blood tests, and medication for 2 years to suppress the cancer cells. He is still weak and is eating lesser than before. He is trying to bounce back. As a purohit, Sharath is dependent on devotees for his sustenance. Sometimes, he is able to earn as much as Rs 5,000 a month and sometimes it is as less as Rs 2,000.
"I have blessed children and done pujas for their long life. When Ritam was diagnosed, I felt karma helped us. If Ritam is alive today, it is because of all those people in my village who came forward to help pay for his treatment. We just need one more miracle to take him home."
Ritam can't wait to tell his friends that he beat the big bad monster called cancer. You can help him go home.