A wonderful survivorship story about patient empowerment from India

For the last 50 years, CPAA has disbursed funds to patients who approach us at our branches in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. Over the past two years, we have started supporting treatment of patients in far flung cities and towns all over India including Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Junagad, Nasik and Goa. With the Covid situation, it becomes necessary to put in extra efforts to acquire and verify the myriad supporting documents required to satisfy government regulations before we could transfer funding. We must interact with the patients or their family members who are often not educated and speak local languages that we are not familiar with long distance.

The story we share is of a 13 year old patient suffering from osteosarcoma undergoing treatment in Kolkata.  The child, eldest of three siblings, hails from a village in the adjoining state, where her father is a farmer. The child has been staying in a foster home near the hospital with her mother. When we first contacted the phone number provided, our volunteer spoke to the patient’s mother, who could not understand which documents we would need. She said she would call back. Imagine our surprise when the person who called was the child herself. This 13 year old spoke with assurance and maturity well beyond her age and assured us that the documents would be arranged and despatched. Several times thereafter whenever we phoned, her mother would put her on the line and she coordinated the entire process which even adults find cumbersome, especially under the current situation. We were repeatedly amazed at the level of empowerment, calmness and intelligence shown by this young girl from a remote village dealing with such a painful situation. Her courage and determination makes her a role model for us all.