"My Shreya is only three years old. But more than a daughter, she is also my ally. We have been through so much together."
Sushanthi Nayak is a single mother, whose entire world is her daughter. Three months ago, she began noticing that a tiny white spot in Shreya's left eye. At the time, she didn't have the faintest idea of what it meant.
15 days ago, Sushanthi came back from work and was playing with her daughter. She paused, and a chill went down her spine as she noticed that the white spot was visibly larger. She waited no longer; she consulted her local doctor and took her daughter to a hospital in Kolkata, under his recommendation.
It was there that Shreya was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, or eye cancer.
Sushanthi had always led a life filled with struggle. She lives in the same village she grew up in - Mangalpur in Orissa's Jajpur district. Here, there are barely a handful of opportunities when it comes to education and career, especially for women. However, Sushanthi worked hard for the job she has now, as a private school teacher. She earns about 15,000 per month.
Shreya's doctors in Kolkata said they were unable to treat her and sent them to Apollo Hospital in Chennai. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy. She needs four sessions to eliminate the tumour.
One cycle has been completed, and it was initially costing Sushanthi over Rs 1 lakh.
However, she pleaded with her doctors, saying a single mother couldn't afford such a huge sum. The hospital agreed to charge her only Rs 50,000 for the first cycle, but she would need to pay Rs 70,000 for each of the following three cycles. Including hospital stay, medication and consultation charges, her expenses comes up to Rs 4 lakh.
Sushanthi managed to pay for the first cycle after cleaning out her savings and borrowing from relatives. Now she needs to worry about travel expenses back from Chennai to Mangalpur as well. However, her struggles are far from over.
The challenge of paying for her daughter's treatment all by herself for her child all by herself overwhelms Sushanti. She now needs you to be able to save little Shreya, who is all she ever had.
Even a small contribution from you to her fundraiser will help her keep fighting!