Nurturing parents & good food make a difference.

2-year-old Palak makes a steady recovery from cancer.

30-year-old Heera Sonkar had a pretty normal life as a vegetable seller in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. He and his wife Vandana were looking forward to raising their 2-year-old daughter in their hometown. But, they were devastated when Palak was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in January 2021. This was months before inter-city borders were shut across India because of the second wave of the pandemic.

“Things could have been worse,” says Heera as he recollects his early days into Palak’s treatment, “No one is ready for such a thing. But we did what we had to, so we moved to Varanasi for Palak’s treatment at Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital (HBCH). It was not easy. We had to borrow money from our family and friends to get by. Thankfully, Cuddles Foundation came through at the right time. The food items we received took a huge weight off us.”

Palak is part of Cuddles’ Supplements, Ration, and In-meal program that you generously support. Raina, our nutritionist at HBCH, Varanasi, informs, “Palak needed special attention because of her age and the state of her health. This is a family that truly deserved help, and I am glad we could work together as a team with Heera and Vandana. Heera and Vandana are very courageous people. They followed the treatment without worrying about the outcome.”

Your support is giving strength and courage to many families. This strength improves the probability of a successful outcome. We hope Palak recovers fully and has a loving and healthy childhood as her parents had planned before her diagnosis.

Heera prepares to take his daughter and his wife back to their hometown as the treatment does not demand them to be in Varanasi every day. His only message to other families in the initial phase of their child’s treatment is not to treat a cancer diagnosis as the end of the world. They should continue to nurture and care for their child because childhood cancer is curable.

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About Shreya Gupta

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