Here’s something that will restore your faith in… well, if not humanity, at least the Internet. On November 15, the Humans of Bombay Facebook page profiled a cancer patient from Gujarat who had moved to Mumbai to attend college. Soon, Rushi discovered he had an incredibly rare form of cancer and would require a bone marrow transplant and multiple rounds of costly chemotherapy. Stunned to learn that his treatment had been stopped due to lack of funds, netizens banded together and raised over 25 lakh rupees in just 15 hours.
In the viral Facebook post, Rushi described poignantly how his father, with a salary of just Rs. 15,000, managed to save almost Rs. 13 lakh for his college fees. Rushi wrote he always dreamed of earning his MBA and his parents never once let the worry of finances prevent him from pursuing his dreams.
But a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) briefly derailed Rushi’s plans.
After eight cycles of chemotherapy – each costing Rs. 2.5 lakh – Rushi’s treatment was stopped due to lack of funds.
“Seeing my father worried is more difficult than braving these chemotherapy cycles,” he wrote. “It’s even worse that I can’t do my MBA and give my parents the life they deserve… I’m trying to show him the brighter side – I tell him that it’s good that I’ve received another year to prepare for the entrance exam so I’ll try to get into the IIMs, but it’s tough.”
The post says:
“”Ever since I was a child, I used to tell my father, ‘I want you to retire at 52, I will take care of everything after that.’ I have no idea where this thought came from or why that’s motivated me my entire life. Maybe because I’ve seen him work so hard every single day- my father goes to different houses to officiate religious ceremonies. My dream has been to see him relax, maybe take road trips with his friends and finally start living for himself.
When I told my dad I wanted to pursue MBA, he smiled and immediately started calculating how much it would cost. There were no discussions about whether it would be affordable for our family or not. Since then, with his salary of just Rs. 15,000, he has managed to collect almost Rs. 13 lakh for my college fees. After getting a decent score in my entrance exam, I was coming to Mumbai for my admission, and that’s when fate changed our path.
I’d been feeling weak for about a week in Baroda, when I got my blood tests done. The reports revealed a shocking drop in my blood count — I had a condition called MDS which puts my bone marrow at a high risk.
The doctors said that I would need a bone marrow transplant which would cost a staggering Rs. 30 lakh —my father agreed to do the transplant as his bone marrow matched mine.
Since I came to Bombay, I spend most of my time alone because I’m highly prone to infections. So I spend most of my time studying, reading about treatment options and watching motivational videos to stay positive.
Motivational videos help me get through chemotherapy sessions and every time I see my father hiding his tears. He never cries in front of me and thinks I don’t know… but I do — I notice how his voice cracks when he’s talking to our relatives, or when he suddenly leaves the room.
To be honest, seeing my father worried is more difficult than braving these chemotherapy cycles. It’s even worse that I can’t do my MBA and give my parents the life they deserve —they even sold the gold they had bought for my wedding!
I’m trying to show him the brighter side — I tell him that it’s good that I’ve received another year to prepare for the entrance exam so I’ll try to get into the IIMs, but it’s tough.
I’ve gone through 8 cycles of chemotherapy — each costing us Rs. 2.5 lakh.. that’s more money than we’ve even seen in this lifetime. My treatment is nowhere close to being complete, but I’m still trying to keep my parents happy and positive by telling them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will get my MBA; I will make sure that the dream I had for my parents — of seeing them relax on a beach, with not a care in the world will come true.”
Rushi’s treatment has currently been STOPPED due to the lack of funds. He’s happy and positive, but unless his family manages to miraculously raise 25 lacs — the chances of his survival are bleak. We can make this miracle happen, by coming together, contributing to his treatment so that it’s resumed and saving his life.”
The post touched the hearts of many on the Internet, who donated generously towards Rushi’s treatment.
“Did my bit. I do hope one day we’ll get to read your story on the same page about how things eventually happened as you’ve planned in your mind about taking care of your parents and everything,” commented one person on the post.
The next day, Humans of Bombay shared that netizens had managed to raise more than the required 25 lakh in less than 15 hours: “THANK YOU, beautiful humans for relentlessly reinforcing our faith in all the good in the world!”