Like Shahid’s family, a large majority of Cuddles’ beneficiaries come from households that earn less than Rs. 10,000 per month. 80% of caregivers also have very little knowledge about the right foods to feed their child when they are first diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer therapy can trigger many side effects. These effects are often exacerbated by poor appetite and that further compromises a child’s nutritional status. That’s where good food saves the day. And that’s why the ration bundles you help fund give many children like Shahid increased chances of a complete recovery.
These monthly ration bundles help feed a family of four. Each bundle packs cereals, pulses, millets, nuts and oilseeds, ghee, oil, spices, condiments and basic personal hygiene products. At 4,400 kcal/day, the ration bundle fulfills 100% of the child’s total calorie requirement per day. Given their poor financial condition, Shahid’s family also needed support by way of food and nourishment. It is important for the family to be physically strong so that they can cope with the logistics of taking care of a sick child. Therefore the ration bundle contributes to the nutritional needs of caregivers too and adds ₹3,200 to their income per month. This financial aid coupled with nutritional counseling ensures that Shahid has a chance to reclaim his life despite his humble background.
Shahid’s story comes with a silver lining. Shahid’s time interacting with doctors and nutritionists at Sion Hospital has triggered his interest in the medical profession. Vibha Mehta, our nutritionist at Sion Hospital, adds,
“Shahid is very fascinated with how cancer therapy works. He follows the dietary instructions and shows a lot of interest by initiating conversations about his treatment. I have also witnessed a clear change in his behaviour from when I first met him. He is outgoing and mixes well with the people at the hospital.”
Shahid is in class two, and he views his treatment as an extension of his studies.
He says, “I enjoy studying a lot. I learn something new every time I talk to a doctor or a nutritionist. They are my teachers right now.”
We hope that Shahid recovers fully to pursue his quest for knowledge. This would not have been possible without your support. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!