Subash Sarki is a 14-year boy living with his family in the Ramechap district of Nepal. In 2016, Subash’s father took him to the hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, when his son started to feel pain in his arms and legs that prevented him from walking. At the hospital, Subash was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia and was immediately placed on chemotherapy. Financially, Subash’s parents struggled to keep up with the high cost of medications for his treatment while at the same time trying to provide support to the family back home. Even with assistance from the hospital and government programs, Subash and his family continue to face many challenges as a result of poverty.
What Subash’s story teaches us
At 14, Subash started working to earn money in hopes of being able to help his parents pay for his education. When Subash got sick, Bhanam Sarki, Subash’s father, took out loans and sold his land and cattle to be able to afford his son’s treatments. Even then, the little money the family had was spent on covering the cost of transportation back and forth to the hospital. “I have no one to ask for help,” Bhanam says. “It is tough. They say the treatment may take up to three years. It’s just been the first five months right now. Unless if someone miraculously comes to our rescue financially, I have no other hope but to keep taking loans.”
If a hospital was available nearer their home district of Ramechap, Subash’s family would not have to spend so much on transportation. Subash would get to see his other family members including his mother. In spite of their many challenges, Subash’s family continues to work hard and seek out the means that would allow for Subash to continue to receive access to proper treatment.