I live in a village, 90 kms from Kolkata. I consider myself as a very hard-working individual. Every day, I wake up at 5 a.m. Then I take a bus to a town 10 kilometers away and drive a car to transport goods to markets of Kolkata and come back. I work 14 hours a day and sometimes I even work until midnight because I get Rs 200 more for overtime. I earn around Rs 5,000 every month.
I have to work hard because I need to support my wife, kids and parents. I was told hard work would solve all life’s problems. But it has not helped me. Every one in my family is ill and my son has cancer. I don’t know what more to do to provide for his treatments.
It started last year, when my son Rajdeep’s eyes were a little yellow and he didn’t stop vomiting. Whenever I picked him up, he seemed lighter. I knew something was wrong. I took him to a clinic and they ran blood tests. They said that he had cancer but they weren’t so sure. So, I took him somewhere else and they said the same but this time they were sure of it. I couldn’t control my tears when Rajdeep, himself, said “When will you take me to the hospital? I can’t bear my pain.”
After discussing with people who are more educated than us, my wife, Jhunu, and I got Rajdeep to Chennai for treatment last October. They told us once again that he had Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Jhunu and I broke down that instant.
They told us that Rajdeep needed to start chemotherapy right away while I arranged for funds. Rajdeep was in so much pain, his chest was hurting, his liver was swollen and his hemoglobin levels were around 3, which was way below normal (around 12). We had no other choice but to start his treatment to save his life.
We came to Chennai with Rs 1 lakh. I had borrowed this money from all the people I knew in the village. What I had was spent in the first 15 days of treatment. An NGO saved our lives and gave us free housing. For Rajdeep’s treatment, I’ve mortgaged our house and got an additional Rs 3 lakhs which are also gone now.
Rajdeep still has several cycles of chemotherapy left and we need to be in Chennai for four more months. How am I going to provide for his treatments? I can’t even purchase the fruits and coconuts he needs as a part of therapy, not to mention the food my wife and I need. I don’t even sleep properly because I’m so tense every single minute.
We came here in October (2017) and since then, I had to admit my wife to the hospital too. Her abdomen was hurting bad and we found that she had kidney stones. She still needs to get it surgically removed but we’re praying and using our efforts to help Rajdeep first. Back home, my father is also admitted to the hospital. My mother called me and just broke down on the phone because his condition is getting worse too.
2 years before Rajdeep was born, Jhunu and I adopted Sanaya. Both her parents had passed away and she is like my own blood. She calls me every day and misses us and her brother Rajdeep. Rajdeep also misses her so much. He just wants to see her. We had to ask someone else to take care of her until we’re back and it’s really hard for us to be so far away in this new place where we don’t understand the language.
Rajdeep and Sanaya
Rajdeep needs chemotherapy for 4 more months and I need to arrange for Rs 10 lakhs. I don’t know how I’m going to manage it. I am the only working member of the family. Even after the chemotherapy, Rajdeep needs medicines and treatments for the next 3 years to get back to normal. As a parent of a child who has cancer, I can’t describe how I feel. I have nothing left to help my family.
How you can help
Sujal Sannyasi, a car driver from rural West Bengal, has absolutely nothing left to provide for the life-saving chemotherapy his 5-year-old son, Rajdeep, needs. He has exhausted all his resources and even sacrificed his home and is left with no option but crowdfunding. He now needs our support to save his son.