Hodgkin’s disease is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a vital part of the immune system. As cancer progresses, it limits the body’s ability to fight infection. Tanuj Yadav was 8 years old, living in West Delhi when he was first diagnosed with this deadly disease. On the recommendation of their relatives, his family took him to AIIMS, Delhi, where he underwent treatment for 6 months. The total cost of treatment exceeded Rs. 5 lakhs.
Tanuj’s mother is a single parent and is the only earning member in a family of 5. She works as a teacher in a local school in their village and has a total income of Rs. 60,000 per year. To make ends meet and support Tanuj’s treatment, she had to sell the only valuable asset she had- her jewelry. But since that didn’t cover the entire cost of treatment, she was also forced to take a loan.
One day, while Tanuj was undergoing treatment at AIIMS, his mother had a chance encounter with a social worker from YouWeCan Foundation, who regularly visits the hospital to counsel & support patients and their families. The social worker told her about the foundation’s Scholarship for Cancer Survivors and she immediately applied. After completing the documentation and due diligence procedures, her application was approved and Tanuj was awarded the scholarship.
Despite the financial support, Tanuj’s treatment took a physical and emotional toll on him. He had to take a long leave of 4 absence from school and missed seeing his friends and playing cricket every day. He lost his hair and felt embarrassed to meet people, which further reduced his already restricted movements. He also had to wear a face mask all the time and his interactions with friends and family became extremely limited, to avoid the risk of infections. But with hope and determination in his heart, he got better.
Today, Tanuj’s treatment is complete and he is happily studying in class 5 in Dagar Public School, Delhi. His teachers believe that his academic and athletic interests are remarkable and he will someday achieve great things in life. Even at such a young age, he tries to live life to the fullest. He feels grateful to be able to run and go outside and play with his friends.
While his mother is still trying to pay off their loan, she is relieved that Tanuj’s school fees are being supported by YouWeCan Foundation.