Appeal for aid – Help Syeda receive her Bone Marrow Transplant
After selling their house, jewellery, and moving cities, six-year-old Syeda’s parents have exhausted their resources. They now need to raise Rs30 lakh in one month for a bone marrow transplant. Help her by donating here.
A lot can change in an instant. The course of our lives changed when we first moved from our family home in Mysore to a small room, five minutes away from the hospital, after our six-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the fall of 2015.
With meagre resources, and hopes for a miracle, we began our journey of securing the best treatment for her. Our only strand of hope now is the contribution made by caring strangers through Ketto.org.
It was the month of October and the school year was on in full swing with mid-term exams just around the corner. Syeda had already missed three days of school on the pretext of high fever. When her fever did not lessen even on the fifth day, hovering steady at 104-105 degrees, my husband and I rushed her to JSS hospital in Mysore. She had already lost a few kilograms and looked frail, her hands were covered in big bruises, which she scratched at incessantly till blood oozed out. The doctors were concerned about the sudden weight loss and put her on the drip immediately. They increased her dose of antibiotics and suggested that we run a few blood tests in the morning.
Two days later we were summoned into the clinic – the doctor told us that Syeda was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The words meant nothing to us, but from his tone and expression we knew that it was serious.
He explained that she was suffering from cancer of the blood and bone marrow, which affected the rate of production of her red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It needed to be treated immediately. The very next day my husband quit his job, we gathered our belongings, and we left for Bangalore in the hope that more qualified doctors and better hospitals would save our darling daughter from the most dangerous of childhood cancers.
My husband Syed worked seven days a week as a salesman at a silk saree emporium in Mysore, with a monthly income of Rs 15,000 which paid for the schooling of the kids and other household expenses. Savings were low and mostly in the form of gold that we acquired during our wedding, 17 years ago. We have since mortgaged our family home in Mysore to pay for Syeda’s treatment, and now live in a small rented room five minutes from the hospital. Syeda has undergone multiple rounds of blood transfusions and three rounds of chemotherapy. The road to her recovery has been challenging, filled with hope and despair in equal measure. She was believed to be reacting positively to her treatment with an increase in RBC count and low number of leukemia “blasts”. Then, in December 2016, her bone marrow reported suggested a sudden relapse. Her lymphoblasts were recorded at 80% (a considerably high figure) reflecting the persistence of the disease. Dr. Sunil Bhat, the Head of Pedeatric Haemotology Oncology and Bone Marrow, who is overseeing her treatment, suggested a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) as curative treatment.
A total of Rs 6 lakhs have already been spent for her treatment and chemotherapy. We have exhausted every last resource available to us: mortgaged our home, sold our jewellery, and borrowed from friends and family.
The BMT suggested by the doctors cost a staggering Rs 30 lakhs – an amount we can’t dream of collecting.
As a last resort we have decided to start a fundraising page with Ketto.org in her name, in the hope that kind individuals will come forward and help us fund this life-saving treatment. The money will be used to pay for the extensive surgery and other medical bills. Very recently, we received a call from the doctor saying they have found a willing donor whose bone marrow matches that of Syeda’s. We now have one month to get the finances in place.
We have found new hope in this long and painful battle and are prepared to go the extra mile to save her life. As parents of an ailing child, we hope every day for this one last miracle that will allow is to take Syeda home, back to her family, her friends, and to her joyful school days.
Please help us pay for her BMT by visiting and donating on our fundraiser page at Ketto.org
-By Hajira Humerea as told to HT Brand Studio