Today is National Cancer Awareness Day 2020: Crowdfunding throws a lifeline to cancer-hit
National Cancer Awareness Day 2020: Kindred souls responding to desperate appeals online to save lives of serious patients
National Cancer Awareness Day 2020: It is a god-send, say many poor patients battling cancer, who have exhausted all available resources towards treatment. The kin of the ailing patients are increasingly relying on crowdfunding to attract the attention of donors to their plight.
One such case is that of a 5-yr-old Akshar Patolla who was suffering from Ewing's sarcoma, a very rare type of cancerous tumour. She was treated at a corporate hospital in Gachibowli. His father Veeresham, who works at a retail clothes showroom in Gachibowli, strove hard to provide treatment for his cancer-ridden child. He spent lakhs of rupees for two surgeries and the first few chemo sessions, but cancer could not be completely cured. With the help of crowd-funding, Akshar underwent a series of chemotherapy sessions and is now out of danger.
"When I ran out of finances, the doctors who were treating my child suggested to go for crowdfunding. Immediately, I started the campaign with the help of the hospital. Within a few months, the campaign could mobilise around 11 lakhs from 350 strangers around the world," he said.
According to the Indian cancer society, it is estimated that about 50,000 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer each year in India.
Similar is the case of 7-year-old Gruthika, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia, a severe form of blood cancer that rapidly produces abnormal blood cells in the body.
By the time Gruthika underwent a few chemotherapy sessions, the family's savings were exhausted.
"When the doctors said the treatment will cost Rs 30 lakh we were shocked. We told doctors that even if we sell the house we cannot afford the treatment. Then one of the doctors suggested starting the fundraising campaign through online crowd funding platforms like Milaap. It raised Rs 31 lakh from contributions of 1,500 strangers," said Gruthika's mother Karuna, a teacher. Gruthika successfully completed her chemotherapy sessions and is currently out of danger.
"I like painting and carroms and I want to become a doctor to serve the society in future," she says.
"So often, we see even strangers readily coming forward to help when families are in such distress. In fact, till date more than Rs. 86 crores have raised for the treatment of children suffering from cancer, through 6200 campaigns from all over India." stated Anoj Viswanathan, Co-founder of Milaap Crowdfunding Platform.