The report in last week's SUNDAY MiDDAY ('Spent couple battle to save daughter') about 15 month-old Anvi Pednekars' need for a bone marrow, resulted in an outpour of funds from India and all across the world. In less than a week, over 200 people have contributed a sum ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 1 lakh for Anvi's treatment and till Saturday evening, a sum of Rs 13.75 lakh was collected.
"We are thankful to SUNDAY MiDDAY and all the donors who have contributed towards saving my daughter's life. It would have been impossible for us to raise such a huge sum for Anvi's treatment in such a short time," said an emotional Ruchita, Anvi's mother. The family owes creditors over Rs 5 lakh, which they had borrowed to treat their elder daughter Sanika, who, unfortunately, passed away.
Ruchita added, "I have received mails and phone calls from all over India as well as from places including Melbourne, Norway, Canada, New York, Oman, Dubai and other parts of UAE. They have helped us by sending funds, blessings, prayers, information on hospitals and organisations where we can find donors. I am sure that with their help and prayers my Anvi will fight all odds."
The Pednekar couple also wants to be transparent with their accounts and claim that they will preserve all bills and receipts, which anybody is free to check. "We have a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ AnviPednekar) on which we will regularly update Anvi's medical condition."
Dr Fazal Nabi, Pediatrician and Intensivist at Jaslok Hospital, said, "I have received numerous phone calls in the past few days inquiring about Anvi. The donors want to confirm that it's a genuine case before making their contribution. Once the SUNDAY MiD DAY article appeared, specialists from the Dr Devi Prasad Shetty-run Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in Bangalore, contacted Ruchita. The parents will most probably take Anvi to Bangalore for the bone marrow transplant. I will stay in touch with their team and provide the required assistance."
The doctor further stated, "Anvi is fortunate that many helping hands have contributed generously towards her treatment." Meanwhile Dr Shobha Badiger, consulting Pediatric Haematology-Oncology expert at Narayana Hrudayalaya, told Sunday Mid Day that Dr Sharat Damodar, who is also a haematologist and heads the bone marrow transplant unit of the hospital, referred her to Anvi's case and accordingly they established contact with Ruchita over email.
Dr Badiger said, "Though we have learnt that Anvi has been diagnosed with Myelofibrosis (disorder of the bone marrow), and requires a transplant, we have requested her parents to undergo a Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching test. The result will be matched with Anvi's requirement, and in case one of the parent's HLA matches, we can use them as the donor. The treatment will cost approximately Rs 12 lakh. However, if the tests don't match, we will have to look for donors either from India or from outside the country, especially from Germany or USA. Usually such a search takes nearly two months and cost Rs 15-20 lakh."
Meanwhile, Ruchita and her husband Rupesh have decided to fly to Bangalore in the coming week. Ruchita said, "We cannot risk taking Anvi by train (it takes over 19 hours to reach Bangalore from Mumbai) and doctors have advised us to keep her infection-free to avoid complications. Also, her haemoglobin level is worrisome, as it fluctuates. We have to collect the histopathology block of Anvi's bone marrow samples from Jaslok Hospital and the same is required by the specialists in Bangalore."