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"Amma, when will Akka come home? Is she angry with me? I want to play with her!" My younger son, Nitish, asked about his sister, as we talked on the phone.
"Akka is not well Nitish. First, let her get well and then you play with her. Okay?" I replied as I tried to calm my son.
Every day as I talk to my son on the phone, he asks me the same question. He doesn't want to listen as he immensely misses his elder sister, Joshika.
He thinks that she is angry with him because he doesn't like to play teacher-teacher with her. But how shall I tell him that what he thinks is far away from the truth?
The truth is that my daughter, Joshika, is on the verge of dying. The truth is that she is plagued with a rare and deadly disease that threatens to kill her. The truth is that I'm absolutely helpless and cannot do anything to save my only daughter.
And the most bitter truth out of all being, I might never be able to hold her again in my arms if my husband and I do not come up with the required amount for her treatment.
It all started in the month of April when one fateful day Joshika fell extremely sick. She began vomiting whatever she ate and continued to do so even on an empty stomach.
Since the lockdown had just started, the local clinics and hospitals were shut down, making it impossible for me to take her to the doctor.
Due to this I thought about waiting for a day or two and see if Joshika feels any better, but to my horror, her condition worsened.
When I somehow managed to take Joshika to the hospital, the doctors performed multiple tests on her for hours on end. Every passing minute was making me more nervous and scared as to what was going inside.
When the doctor finally called me inside his office, he showed me the test results.
"Your daughter, Joshika, is suffering from Rhabdomyosarcoma. It is an extremely rare and aggressive type of cancer and has already developed multiple cancerous tumours in Joshika's body. We need to begin with chemotherapy as soon as possible, or else she might not survive."
My 7-year-old daughter who was just laughing and playing yesterday with her younger brother is now suffering from cancer. How is this even possible?
Before I was even able to comprehend the situation, the doctor gave me another blow by informing me about the cost of the treatment which will be Rs 15 lakh ($ 20274.83).
Today, as I sit next to my dear Joshika, I can see the immense pain in her eyes. The initial chemo sessions for which my husband and I somehow gathered the money, has rendered her weak and bald.
To get completely well, she still needs further chemo sessions which are way too expensive for us to afford. My husband who is an auto-driver has given his best in collecting the amount. But we are still nowhere near it.
The fundraiser for the Joshika is accepting donations now. The couple have put their faith in people they may not even know to make a difference to their lives and help save their son. Contribute now or share the fundraiser to help. Please help the family in saving their daughter.
How Can You Help?
- You can Donate here
- You can share Joshika's story on Facebook and WhatsApp so that his story reaches to more people like you who will impact his life