When Basavaraj was a little boy, he would run to his father, Nagappa, and climb on his shoulders the moment he stepped inside the home. Nagappa, who is a farmer at Koppal, a small town in Karnataka, worked hard in the farm the entire day. He worked for a meager wage to provide for his family of four and struggled his way to make ends meet. There were days when he didn’t earn enough, but they managed somehow. Despite the shortcomings, they led a content life, he says. However, things changed when their son was diagnosed with a serious illness.
Basavaraj grew up looking at his father’s struggles. His motivation stemmed from wanting a better life for his family. “I will study well and get a good job so that my father can eat good food. He works so hard to send us to school,” he would say as a 12-year-old. After coming back from school, he would help his father in the farms. Everyone loved this dedicated young boy.
Last year, when Basavaraj got a fever, Nagappa took him to the local doctor who said it was a normal infection and prescribed him medicines. However, his condition started worsening with passing days.
Nagappa couldn’t understand why his son’s health was failing. He was losing weight rapidly and was getting weaker. He couldn’t even walk properly. When they went back to the local doctor, he recommended taking Basavaraj to Bangalore for further examination. Nagappa borrowed money from his family to buy train tickets and took his son to Bengaluru.
Farmer son in problem
After hours of diagnosis, the doctors told Nagappa the farmer that his son was suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in white blood cells. His eyes welled up the moment he heard the word cancer. For him, it meant death. He began sobbing as he saw his son. The doctors consoled him and said that his son could be saved with multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed by autologous bone marrow transplant.
He borrowed more money from his relatives and started his son’s chemotherapy. His heart would shatter every time he saw his little one after the session, his body too sensitive to bear a high dose of chemotherapy. However, despite undergoing difficult, painful treatment, Basavaraj would smile looking at his father, making sure that his hopes are held high up.
Even while fighting the deadly disease, Basavaraj went to school. His dream of getting a good job was still intact. When the doctors advised him to stay indoors to avoid infections, he began studying at home. A few months passed by as Nagappa continued to make rounds to Bangalore for his son’s chemo sessions. When he went to the hospital this time, the doctors told him that Basvaraj’s has to undergo more rounds of chemotherapy and radiation along with transplant without much delay. His treatment will cost Rs 15 lakh.