OFTEN, high out-of-pocket health expenses mean that the low-income groups with no medical insurance are just another large medical bill away from being pushed into abject poverty. This is especially the case when people face a sudden medical hardship requiring expensive surgery. In such cases, appealing to the ‘crowd’ of online do-gooders through medical crowdfunding is the only way out.
When the medical costs are really high, especially in heart-related and bone marrow transplant surgeries, people, irrespective of socioeconomic backgrounds, prefer medical crowdfunding as a last resort.
GiveIndia hosts several medical crowdfunding campaigns where desperate families can reach out to do-gooders worldwide. Here, we profile five medical crowdfunding cases when people joined hands to give small kids and teenagers a second life and brought smiles back to the faces of hassled family members.
900 Good Samaritans help Shivansh breathe again
Shivansh Thakur has a warm smile. He smiled even when he had difficulty breathing because of a complex congenital heart disease that caused oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body.
Shivansh was only a few months old when he underwent a costly surgery. His family somehow managed the funds by taking loans and dipping into the savings, but it proved to be a temporary fix. Doctors later told his family that he had to get immediate open-heart surgery for him to lead a normal life like any other kid. His father, Vivek, was taking home hardly ₹3,000 as salary as he had taken huge loans from his office, and money was getting deducted every month.
Finally, the family decided to go for medical crowdfunding. “Please help me. You are our last resort. Our son’s life is in your hands,” begged a desperate Vivek, Shivansh’s father. Good Samaritans heard the family’s pleas and 900 donors contributed around ₹13 Lakh.
Shivansh has undergone surgery successfully, and Vivek says that he can now hear his son laugh rather than cry when he comes home from the office and also plays with him without worrying about his health.
Uzair can now fulfil his father’s dream
The family is overjoyed. “The surgery went off well and Uzair is doing well. Now I can watch him grow into a young man without worrying about his life. My family blesses you all and is grateful to the donors,” says Ahmed, Uzair’s father.
Ahmed dreams of seeing 6-year-old Uzair join the Indian Army and become a captain and make his country proud. But till a few months back, Uzair’s life was in danger. He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease within weeks of his birth. He couldn’t lead a normal life as a child and spent six years finding a cure.
Open-heart surgery was the only way out, doctors said. The operation required ₹10 Lakh, which his father, a road construction worker in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, couldn’t afford.
Uzair’s family was looking for medical crowdfunding to generate funds for the surgery and GiveIndia was his preferred platform for the same. Over 250 donors from across the world came together to contribute in time and raised over ₹10 lakh required for the 6-year-old’s surgery.
This budding singer can now pursue her dreams
Ananya Ghosh’s family was over the moon. She had beaten the dreaded Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a six-month battle. But within months, she was back in the hospital. Ananya’s cancer relapsed, and the family was upset again. Ananya, who is a budding singer, was distraught.
The doctors said that a bone marrow transplant worth ₹15 Lakh can save her life. But her parents, who had exhausted all their money and savings on previous treatments, could not afford the latest surgery. The family decided to go for medical crowdfunding and their appeal on GiveIndia yielded results.
Over 940 donors stood by the family and supported her helpless parents. The surgery was successful and took their daughter home. “Ananya is resting at her uncle’s house. Her health is now better, and she has started studying again. All this could happen only because of GiveIndia and the donors,” says Ruma Ghosh, Ananya’s mother.
With her soulful voice that has won her prizes in various competitions, Ananya dreams of becoming a professional singer. We can hope that Ananya will fulfil all her dreams.
Riyansh now has a fair shot at life
“He has undergone surgery successfully. Thank you for the wonderful support and love you have shown towards Riyansh,” says Sonia Kashyap, his grateful mother.
Before the surgery, Riyansh’s mother can’t remember a single night when she had slept peacefully. She used to stay awake all night to check if her son was still breathing. She was afraid that his heart could stop beating any time.
Doctors had told Riyansh’s family that an open-heart surgery worth ₹8 lakh was the only way to save him. As his father worked as a daily wager in a factory, his family couldn’t generate the funds.
But thanks to medical crowdfunding with the help of GiveIndia on its platform, over 500 people from across the world donated for the surgery and Riyansh is on his way to recovery.
Will Varad follow in his idol’s footsteps?
11-year-old Varad Nalawade was suffering from a rare condition called severe Aplastic anaemia. His body stopped producing new blood cells resulting in bone marrow damage. His lower platelet was making Varad’s immune system malfunction, where even a small infection was fatal for him. Varad urgently needed a life-saving bone marrow transplant. The cost of treatment was ₹35 lakh. But his helpless parents were unable to afford. They were hoping for a miracle.
Varad’s father, Sachin, an insurance agent, and mother Swapna Jha, a housewife, started a medical crowdfunding campaign on GiveIndia for the treatment of their son. His parents’ appeal had led to the raising of over ₹4 lakh from over 240 people when an unexpected miracle happened.
India’s opening batsman KL Rahul donated ₹31 lakh, and the surgery could take place at the earliest. “When I came to know about Varad’s condition, my team contacted GiveIndia so that we can help him in any way we can. I am glad that the surgery was successful,” KL Rahul said soon after Varad’s surgery.
The family is over the moon. Varad’s mother Swapna says, “We are grateful to KL Rahul, who is donating such a huge amount for Varad’s surgery. We are also thankful to all the other donors who made this possible.” Once Varad recovers fully, he can pick up his bat and start practising to become a cricketing star.
Thank you for bringing a smile to so many faces with your timely help. There are many more people in need of medical crowdfunding that we can support through our donations.
Established in 2000, GiveIndia is the largest and most trusted giving platform in India today. Our community of 2M+ donors and 250+ corporate partners and brands have supported 2,200+ nonprofits, impacting 15M+ lives across India.
Kumara has been a professional journalist for over 15 years with stints in The Telegraph and Reader’s Digest. He grew up hating maths and physics. He is a post-graduate in history. Kumara believes that cricket and Seinfeld have answers to most questions that life throws at you.