A mother-daughter duo overcame their fear of cancer.

Dispelling myths about cancer recovery and support.

Shanmuga, a 10-year-old girl from Madurai, had a pretty normal childhood until she was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (B-Cell ALL) at MMHRC, Madurai. Before she was diagnosed with Leukaemia, she had fever-like symptoms for almost ten days.

Mutthamaal, Shanmuga’s mother, explains the emotional turmoil they had to go through after the diagnosis. “When I found out about the diagnosis, I was very sad and felt helpless. I have four children, and I never thought something like this would come upon any of them. Without the support we received from Cuddles Foundation, this journey would have been intolerable.” Mutthamaal and Shanmuga have come a long way since the treatment began in January 2020. Shanmuga has had the benefit of nutritious food as part of the Cuddles Supplement, Induction, In-Meal, and Ration Program since then.

In addition to these programs, it is the personal touch added by our nutritionists, Nivetha and Pavithra, that made all the difference. “Nivetha and Pavithra both talked nicely with my child and built a friendly relationship with her. With time, Shanmuga has started to trust their recommendations and is slowly becoming healthier. They also helped me understand the situation better so I could do the right things,” adds Mutthamaal.

Pavithra is also glad about the turn of events. She says, “Initially, both Shanmuga and her mother were emotionally distressed with the diagnosis. This was adversely affecting Shanmuga’s oral intake, which would come in the way of her treatment. I spent a lot of time motivating both of them to trust the process and try to get over their current circumstances. When they could see a direct link between nutrition and recovery, it was easy for me to convince Shanmuga, a non-vegetarian, to have fruits and vegetables. Shanmuga’s mother has also started preparing different types of sprouts and healthy snacks for the child.”

These efforts have positively impacted Shanmuga’s nutritional status as it has improved from severe thinness to mild thinness. Her weight and height have also increased by 6.5 kg and 3 cm, respectively, from January 2020 to March 2021. Shanmuga’s mother is happy with the progress, and her only suggestion to parents in the initial phase of the treatment is to follow the treatment and to understand and believe that cancer is curable.

Many families have been able to overcome their fears with the proper medical, emotional and nutritional support. And you have a huge role to play in this. So, thank you!

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About Shreya Gupta

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