Your Life is in your Hands

Raghuraj Singh Thakur  . Village Richavar , District Sagar ,Madhya Pradesh –  2009   

I am a married man with four children. I am forty eight years old and I had just got my eldest daughter married on 11/03/2009. I had suddenly started losing weight without any apparent reason. When I consulted my physician at Sagar, he gave me medicine for malaria, because he thought I was suffering from it. But there was no respite with the medicine. I went to Bhopal and met a specialist- Dr R.K. Jam. He conducted an endoscopy on me which did not show anything abnormal. He asked me to do a blood test which I did at Kothari Pathology Lab. The reports showed that I had Blood Cancer. When I went to Dr Jam he told me that I could get treated only at Mumbai, but there was also an option of getting treated at Namoday hospital in Bhopal itself. I went to Namoday Hospital and the physician in charge asked me to get myself admitted for treatment. I convinced him that I was from Sagar and had just come for a consultation. I assured him that I would go back home and discuss the issue with my family who were unaware of my diagnosis- and then return for treatment.

The distance of 1100 kms to Mumbai did not deter me.

I went back and broke the news to my wife who stood by me and asked me not to worry. She said that God would help us come out of the situation. This gave me a lot of courage and I made up my mind to go to Mumbai and take treatment. I reached Mumbai on 18th Jan.2005 and went to Tata Memorial Hospital where I performed the necessary formalities. Then I was sent to Dr P.S.P.K Shastri, who asked me to go through the routine blood tests along with a bone marrow test. After seeing the reports Dr Shastri told me that treatment was possible but it was very expensive. I was crestfallen and told him that I was a poor labourer and could not afford the treatment. He then told me about the Max Foundation and that he would speak to Viji Madam. If certain formalities were complied with, I could get the medicine at no cost. Dr Shastri sent me to Viji Madam with a set of documents. Viji Madam asked me questions and filled in the forms etc and assured me that I would indeed get the drug at no cost. She explained that the company that made the medicine was donating it to people who could not buy it themselves.

From 10/02/2005 I am getting Glivec 400 mg at no cost.

I am perfectly normal and my entire family and I wish to express our gratitude to Novartis and Max Foundation who made it possible. In retrospect I am very happy that I decided to come to Mumbai to seek the right treatment. If it had not been for the support of my wife and her determination that we look for the best treatment I would not have had the courage to take the step. It is very important to know that one has to decide for oneself and take the right decision. But also, without the support and encouragement of my family and life partner this would not have been possible.

Translated from Hindi by Vidya S Tahilramani