“Pick what is good for you.”

Story of how a 5-year-old boy and his 63-year-old grandfather are going strong against all odds.

5-year-old Devansh Raj has seen a fair number of tragedies for his age. The first ten years of a child’s life are usually the most formative. The impressions one makes of the world, their connection to the external and behavioural patterns are all influenced by early childhood experiences.

Thankfully for Devansh, when he was diagnosed with B-Cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) in November 2018, his grandfather Manishver Verma stepped in to provide what his parents could not. Swamita Mishra, our Nutritionist at SPGI, Lucknow, says, “Manishver inspires me a lot. The last two years have been incredibly tragic and complicated for his family. When Devansh was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, his mother was raising him single-handedly. Devansh’s diagnosis added to his mother’s stress. She had a brain haemorrhage and passed away after a hospital visit during Devansh’s treatment.”

“The shock of losing my daughter and Devansh’s condition led to a very dark period in my life. Nobody was ready for this,” says 63-year-old Manishver, who recently retired from his income tax department job. But both Devansh and Manishver have been very brave during this period and have recovered well with time. “Thanks to the support we have received from Cuddles Foundation, we’ve been able to take care of Devansh’s nutritional needs. The moral support and encouragement he received from Swamita also helped take care of Devansh’s psychological needs. He was not aware of his mother’s demise initially, but he did sense that something was amiss. Swamita has been incredibly kind and is now an extension of our family,” adds Manishver.

With Manishver’s care, love, and patience and the nutritional and psychological interventions provided by Cuddles, Devansh is now well-nourished, thanks to your support. Our Nutritionist, Swamita says, “With the help of lassi and bananas and the Supplement Program, Devensh has put on 3.2 kgs and is now in the maintenance cycle. Regular counselling has helped him become a more engaged child. He reaches out to me and keeps in touch over the phone in between his visits to the hospital.”

“I am fine, and I am cycling on the terrace,” Devansh told Swamita when they last spoke, as he finds a way back to normalcy but in a different home with his grandfather.

“I feel very positive about Devansh’s progress, and a big reason for that is Manishver and Devansh’s capacity to stay optimistic,” adds Swamita. Manishver’s only piece of advice for families undergoing a similar situation is to “pick what is best for the child. Life slows down, and sometimes you feel like the world is weighing down on you. But you have to keep moving ahead.”

Devansh and Manishver did not give up because of your constant support. So, thank you.

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About Shreya Gupta

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