This is the story of how a single mother single-handedly puts her child’s well-being above all else.
Meet Archana Koli – a house worker who is the sole breadwinner of her family. When the news landed that her 6-year-old daughter Parineeti would soon be in the fight of her life against Anaplastic Large Cell lymphoma, she made sure that she got a spot for treatment at the renowned Sion Hospital, Mumbai. Archana calls Khopoli village home, but lives in Malad with her 3 children and an aged father to tend to.
After Parineeti’s first session of chemotherapy, she developed grade 3 mucositis. This painful condition is characterised by inflammation of the inner lining of the digestive tract. At a grade 3 level, every bite of food can be a huge challenge. It was through this period that Archana found confidence and strength in Vibha Mehta, the Cuddles Nutritionist at Sion Hospital. Vibha had assessed that Parineeti was severely thin at diagnosis. Ensuring that she got adequate nutrition was mission critical, so she administered food through a Ryles Tube.
“It was so hard for me to see my daughter unable to eat. I was very scared during this period but Vibha explained everything to me patiently and kindly. This made me trust her and I made up my mind to follow her guidance.” Archana tells us.
As a result of needing to make frequent trips to the hospital, Archana soon found that holding on to her job was a huge challenge. And that’s where your contribution has been a huge ray of hope in this story. Parineeti and her family are recipients of our Supplements, Ration and Hot meals programme. “With 5 mouths to feed, I was very uncertain of how to manage visits to the hospital and making sure there was food on the table. But Cuddles and Vibha ma’am are a huge blessing for us all. I am so thankful that my daughter is in this programme.”
We have been with Parineeti and her family on a year-long journey – supporting them from the day of diagnosis until this final phase of treatment called the maintenance phase. Her nutrition status has improved to well nourished and she has fought treatment side-effects successfully.
“Vibha is like a superhero for Parineeti. She likes to talk about her to all her friends and neighbours, and she likes her a lot. We both try to follow Vibha’s advice all the time because she makes it feel so simple to do”. Archana tells us.
We ask Archana to tell us a bit about her daughter – She smiles when she tells us that Parineeti’s dream is to be a dancer. She’s also a big fan of the classroom and can’t wait to go back to school. Here’s to a little girl’s big dreams, and to her mother’s too.