“I feared for Oliviya; how would I feed her?”

A story of how the pandemic forced a mother to leave her family
and home behind for her daughter’s cancer treatment and nutrition.

More than two years ago, 5-year old Oliviya Sumi was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Before the lockdown, Oliviya and her parents would regularly visit Guwahati’s Dr Bhubaneswar Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) hospital for her check-ups and treatment. Her mother Shikhatoli recalls, “When the lockdown happened, I feared for Oliviya, and how would I feed her?”. Shikhatoli took the courageous call to leave behind her husband and son in Dimapur and boarded the train for Guwahati, just to secure Oliviya’s treatment and the monthly supply of nutritious ration. 

Just two months ago, Oliviya’s father quit his army job and returned to his family in Dimapur to support his wife and the rest of the family through Oliviya’s illness. COVID wrecked the family’s plans, and the mother and daughter are now physically and financially distanced from the rest of the family. They have currently rented a room in Guwahati, which is an additional burden of Rs. 6000 every month. 

With the lockdown paralysing supply chains and hospitals out of bounds for most non-COVID patients, Oliviya’s mother was also worried about securing food supplies that the family had grown so dependent on. Shikhatoli reached out to Momi, Oliviya’s nutritionist from Cuddles who despite the lockdown arranged for ration to be delivered directly to Oliviya. With supplies reaching their doorstep, Oliviya is eating healthy and staying nourished. Something she could have been deprived of during COVID if she was stranded in Nagaland. 

Thanks to supporters like you Oilviya has a chance to grow up, cancer-free. Support children like Oliviya.

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