"As the lady of the house, I do not have any option other than managing everything. Even though I am sick, there is no option!"
So says Ashraf Unnisa- who has been battling Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma for nearly nine months now.
39 year old Ashraf is a mother of two children. She has been married to Sadiq for 22 years, and they have two children. Her elder son Saqlain is in his final year of college, and younger Shakil just gave his 10th Board Exam. She is a busy mother who manages to run the household in between making frequent trips to the clinic.
A lump that turned out to be much more:
In August 2016, Ashraf noticed a lump in her neck. When she went to the ENT doctor, he gave her general antibiotics for a 10-day course. Ashraf was busy and hence took the tablets and went about her days.
It was only 15 days later- when the pain got unbearable that she went again to the doctor. This time he advised a biopsy and the results were conclusive. Ashraf had cancer.
A cycle of treatment that she could not afford:
Ashraf and Sadiq went to the doctors at Shankara Hospital, where they were hopeful of getting treatment at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, Sadiq lost his job back in November because of the chaos caused by demonetisation in India.
Doctors at Shankara prescribed Ashraf six cycles of chemotherapy. A single cycle cost around Rs 50,000 excluding the medicines. The total cost of a single cycle was around Rs 80,000 per treatment.
Sadiq struggled to get his wife's treatment done. He felt that it was his responsibility. He used all their savings, borrowed from relatives and friends and managed to get three cycles done. After that, there was no option but to bring Ashraf home.
Treatment that has been delayed by four months:
Ashraf's last cycle should have been in December 2016. However, the family had exhausted all available options for funds. Ashraf is hopeful that fundraising will give her the chance to get treated.
Ashraf is halfway through her treatment- and needs your support to get through the other half. Help this mother beat cancer!