A two-year-old child—Taqdees, who was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in the eye underwent surgery and was saved through crowd funding. It started as an irritation in the eye and soon left a white spot on her retina. The unsuspecting parents took her to the hospital expecting it to be an eye infection, but the diagnosis changed their lives forever.
Retinoblastoma is a rare form of cancer that rapidly develops from the immature cells of the retina. Upon diagnosis the child was referred to a hospital in a big city where three cycles of an advanced form of Chemotherapy costing the family about Rs 4 lakh including hospitalization and others.
“This is a type of cancer of the eye ball and it happens in children below the age of five. There is no cure for this. It grows slowly and occupies the entire eye ball inside the globe and is generally detected in a fairly advanced stage. The best thing to do in such a case is to remove the eye ball and prevent it from spreading to the other organs,” said noted ophthalmologist Dr. Sushma Sinha.
Coming from a humble background, the parents Ghazala and Ghufran were completely devastated in this unforeseen emergency. “Since Taqdees has been diagnosed with this disease, I haven’t kept a count of the money that has flown out of our hands. All that I have been worrying about is getting my daughter better. I have already spent so much and I am in no condition to arrange more. I will never be able to forgive myself if I fail to get her treated and she loses her eyesight,” Ghufran said
This is when the hospital suggested crowd funding and a fundraiser with all of Taqdees’s medical documents and family details were set up on Milaap- one of the crowd funding platforms for medical and personal needs. Over 300 strangers who saw the fundraiser online came ahead and made a contribution to help Ghufran collect over Rs 3.6 lakh. The toddler has now won the battle against cancer and has returned home to her family in Ranchi.
“This is special type of cancer that happens in the blast cells of the retina. These cells are the cells which give shape to different parts of the eye. The parents have to be very vigilant for it to be discovered early. If detected early it can be treated through laser surgery and regular follow up sessions,” Sinha further added.