If you met Gouri Kanu, you would be struck by this cheerful 45 year-old woman who lives in Charbazar, Karimganj near the border of Bangladesh and India. Gouri’s family members do not have any formal education. While Gouri herself works as a household helper, her husband and 22 year-old son are manual labourers doing petty jobs to eke out a living. Between them they earn around Rs.4000/- per month. Gouri’s 18 year old daughter had to discontinue her studies as her school fees were beyond what the family could afford. Until recently, Gouri hoped to provide her daughter a sewing machine and the necessary vocational education to make her independent.
But in March 2016, Gouri was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She tested positive for Her2/neu – a type of protein secreted by some breast cancer cells which cause them to grow and divide at a very fast rate, making her breast cancer a very aggressive type.
Dr. Poulome Tapkire – Surgical Oncologist at Cachar Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, strongly believes that Gouri’s disease is potentially curable. This has brought hope to the family but has also put their aspirations for the future on hold.
Gouri’s doctors are confident that Traztuzumab therapy, that costs Rs. 10 lakh for a year, will improve her chances of being a long time survivor. She additionally requires treatment with several modalities including chemotherapy (Rs.45, 000), radiation therapy (Rs.15, 000/-), surgery (Rs.20, 000/-) and other consumables (Rs.20, 000/-).
Gouri is currently undergoing chemotherapy once in 3 weeks and requires 8 cycles. Adding to the painful and nauseous chemotherapy sessions, each strenuous 6 hour long commute to the hospital will set her back by over Rs.6000/-, not to mention additional unexpected consultations if she has any complications. Two months after her chemotherapy cycles, she will need to be operated upon.
In spite of being a strong woman, Gouri is devastated as her family cannot afford her treatment. Moreover, this has dampened her hopes for the future.
You can help by contributing towards the Traztuzumab therapy for her. By supporting this initiative, not only do you give Gouri the confidence to fight her disease, you also give her a chance to realize her dream of making her daughter a self-sufficient, independent woman.