“When Sangeetha came back home from school with a swelling on her neck, we thought it was because of the heat. But days went by, and the swelling didn’t subside. We didn’t know that this swelling could kill her. I remember waiting for the doctor to call us in with the test results, I had never been this nervous. I was waiting to hear that everything was fine, but instead, we found out that she has cancer – a word I had only heard about in movies. Even though I’m not educated, I know that cancer can take away our daughter from us at any moment.” - Chithra, Sangeetha's mother
When Chithra and Kumaresan told Sangeetha that she will have to stay in a hospital, far away from her home and school, she nodded understandingly. For Sangeetha, it was just a small swelling, and she thought she would be back home in no time. But days turned into weeks, and Sangeetha was weaker than ever. Cancer has confined this once active 14-year-old to a hospital bed. On some days, she lays quietly, staring blankly at the ceiling. On other days, she’s wailing in pain. Without chemotherapy, Sangeetha will never get to go back home again.
Just when they thought that her suffering was over, Sangeetha was diagnosed with cancerFive months ago, Sangeetha underwent a surgery for the swelling in her neck. Her parents were relieved to know that she was now free from the swelling that was making her weak and frail. Unfortunately for Sangeetha, the swelling returned just 2 months after her surgery. Just when they thought the worst was behind them, their daughter was once again fighting for her life.
“We didn’t know it was caused by cancer the first time she got the swelling. We thought with surgery, she will be fine. It was only when we brought her to Chennai that we found out she has cancer. Our life has changed so much in the past year. Sangeetha’s day begins and ends in the hospital. She doesn’t talk much, but when she does , she talks about life before cancer. ‘amma remember when appa took us all out for ice cream one night? I wish we could go again’ she told me yesterday. I try not to cry in front of her, but I couldn’t help myself yesterday."
Sangeetha has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. Sangeetha needs 8 months of chemotherapy to fight cancer, but her parents have nothing left to save her.
Uneducated and struggling to find work, Sangeetha’s parents can’t save her from cancerWhile Chithra stays with Sangeetha in the hospital, Kumaresan spends his days desperately looking for any work that will give him even a few hundred rupees to get his family through the day. A daily wager with irregular work, Kumaresan hardly earns Rs. 400 on a good day. His meager salary isn’t enough to afford Sangeetha’s life-saving treatment.
“When we’re not in the hospital, we stay at our relative’s place to try and save some money. It feels like we’re burdening them, and I feel very guilty, but we have to do everything we can to save her. We’re trying to save every rupee, but it’s not enough. She needs 10 lakhs to get chemotherapy for the next 8 months of treatment. It will take us years to be able to arrange the amount, and Sangeetha is running out of time.”
How You Can HelpCancer has made Sangeetha extremely weak, but it hasn’t broken her spirit. Even in her silence, Sangeetha remains brave and strong. However, her strength isn’t enough to save her. Sangeetha needs chemotherapy to fight cancer, but her parents have no means to afford the treatment. Despite their best efforts, they’re falling short. Sangeetha can be saved with treatment, but she needs your help.
Your support will save Sangeetha’s life.
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 or the medical team.
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