Balraj Kaur Boparai – Mumbai, October 2007
Many years ago during every monsoon I used to get infected with a terrible cough. My family doctor said that it was an allergy. He used to give me medicine accordingly and then the cough would be gone. In December 2003, I got the cough again. This time somehow , I was not recovering at all. I also realized I was losing a lot of weight. My Doctor gave me medicine for five days and told me that if I did not recover, I would have to do my CBC test. But I was lossing weight continuously. I got wrinkles in my hand and neck. Anybody who used to see me mentioned that I had become weak. But I did not feel any weakness at all. I used to do all my household chores. I did begin to feel uneasy though and a little bit worried.
On 13th Jan 2004, I did my Complete Blood Count (CBC) test. My White Blood Count (WBC) was very high. My family doctor referred me to Dr Gautam at Ashwini Hospital Mulund. Dr Gautam asked me to do a lot of tests and he asked me take an appointment with another specialist doctor called Dr M B Agarwal. I was now a bit disturbed and nervous and so I asked my husband why I had to see another doctor; anyway this cough is something I have had for such a long time , yet why should I meet another doctor now. My husband cheered me up saying that maybe I will have to take a medicine that will cure the cough and this doctor will guide us to the right medicine.
On 15 January 2004, we went to Dr Agarwal. He got my bone marrow test and other additional tests done. He told us the diagnosis was a kind of blood cancer called Chronic Myeloid Luekemia. Along with the reports he also wrote a letter to Viji madam and told us she would help us get a wonderful new medicine from Novartis absolutely free of cost.. We met Viji Madam in her office and she gave us a letter and also asked us to collect Glivec for three months from the Novartis Stockist near V.T.
When I started taking Glivec, I had vomiting for few days. But soon the medicine had good effect. My WBC which was 15000 on 15/01/04 reduced to 3600 on 22/12/06.. My weight increased to 60 Kg and Hb which was 9.5 to 10.9
Glivec gave me a new life. We are very thankful to Novartis and Max Foundation. My family and I would like to thank whole heartedly Novartis ,Viji and The Max Foundation. They are really doing a good job. We cannot afford to buy this medicine. We are truly grateful to them. Let God be always with them.