The lack of public awareness about the simplest health conditions has manifold side effects, of which one of the most detrimental is the ostracism of patients based on the irrational fear that their disease will spread to those who interact in a close physical space with them. Actions driven by this fear end up isolating victims of many diseases, even cancer, denying them the help and support they need and deserve from their communities to make a recovery in terms of physical and social well being. This is what Jerry Mahalia’s experience has been.
A year and a half ago, Jerry was diagnosed with oral cancer. The music technology artist and piano teacher, then about 40, discovered that the people he believed to be his trusted friends and well wishers, quickly dropped out of sight with the prognosis of his painful disease. Soon after the diagnosis, his family took him to Bangalore from the small town in Assam where he lived and worked, and doctors put him through several cycles of chemotherapy and radiation. However, due to a serious fund crisis, the family could not afford to complete this preliminary round of addressing the illness.
As a result, the cancer has spread to the throat and according to the opinion of the doctors who have examined Jerry recently; a surgery is the single available fix to cure him for all time. Of course, he will also need expensive medication support to return to a life free of cancer. This life will not be a normal one, because the surgery that has been advised will mean that Jerry’s left jaw will have to be cut away, and he will lose his voice box and be unable to speak. Already, he cannot eat because his mouth does not open properly. He has withdrawn from people and shies away from interaction, hardly ever leaving their house.
The few loyal friends who remained have shown incredible support, and have helped with funds occasionally as much as they could. Jerry’s sister, Jinny, has started a crowdfunding India campaign on medical crowdfunding giant Impact Guru’s website to help raise the ten lakh rupees that have been set as full treatment budget. With her tireless campaigning on behalf of her brother, donations have started pouring into the fundraiser, with over a lakh raised in just a week! Recovery has begun to seem possible for Jerry.
Start an Impact Guru fundraiser anytime to show your support for a sick loved one, or donate and make a difference.