Mumbai: mid-day readers raise Rs 70 lakh for ailing boy's bone marrow transplant

Nov 13, 2017, 08:35 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar and Rupsa Chakraborty

Krishna, a pharmacist's son, found a rare marrow match in Taiwan after years of search

Chembur resident Jitendra Gulwani needs Rs 80 lakh for his six-year-old's bone marrow transplant. He has managed to raise Rs 70 lakh and the boy is ready to leave for Taiwan. The surgery will take place at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.

mid-day's article put up for display in the medical shop in Dadar where Jitendra Gulwani works
mid-day's article put up for display in the medical shop in Dadar where Jitendra Gulwani works

The Gulwani family had been trying to find a donor for their boy, born a thalassaemia major and diagnosed with hereditary haemolytic anaemia six months after birth, for years without any luck. When they finally managed to find the only man who could help them, in Taiwan, the total expenditure they would need to make pushed the hope further away, considering that Jitendra earned Rs 15,000 a month at the medical shop he worked and the fact that they had already spent lakhs on his regular blood transfusions.

Ajit Shah, Jitendra's boss and owner of the medical shop, who has been running around for six-year-old Krishna's treatment for years, has spent nearly Rs 20 lakh from his own pocket since 2011, when the diagnosis was given. And then came mid-day's report on August 18, which set the ball rolling and, gradually, brought several helping hands, assisting the family to raise Rs 70 lakh.

Also read: How this Mumbai family found the only man who can save their 6-year-old son

On November 18, Shah, his wife, Krishna and the boy's mother will leave for Taiwan. While the main surgery is scheduled for December 6, Krishna needs to be there for six months in all, for prep before the transplant and post-surgery treatment. Jitendra is staying back to take care of his 11-year-old daughter as well as man the shop. He will go to Taiwan on December 3 and return a week later.

Noble windfall
Shah recalled an incident after mid-day's report was published and people had started coming forward to contribute. "A daily-wage labourer had come to the shop to buy medicines worth Rs 70. He saw the report we had laminated and put up in the shop and asked about it, because he couldn't read English. After I told him the story, his eyes welled up and he asked me to give the change from the Rs 100 note he had given for Krishna's surgery. He said 'I am extremely poor and can't donate like trusts or other people, but I want to be part of this noble cause, so please consider this as my contribution'," Shah said, unable to express how moved he had been by the labourer and the entire exchange.

He added that several trusts donated to fulfil Jitendra's dream of seeing his boy cured - Shree Mumbai Patidar Samaj, Shri Motumal Dwarkadas Ahuja Trust and Harneet Kaur Gurumeet Singh Chawla all donated Rs 1 lakh each, while Tata Education and Development Trust donated Rs 20 lakh.

Though they are still falling short by Rs 10 lakh, they believe they will be able to arrange for the amount. "I will always be thankful to mid-day... I, my wife, Krishna and his mother will leave on November 18. We will have to stay there for six months till he completes the treatment and can return healthy," said Shah.

The struggle
After Krishna's birth in 2011, and the subsequent diagnosis, Shah had taken Jitendra to meet doctors in Pune, Ahmedabad and Vellore, but they had failed to find a donor.

Shah had come to know about Dr Jaing of International Medical Centre, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, through his nephew. They'd then contacted the doctor, who had called them to Taiwan in May for collection of blood samples. Later, after a long search, he had found the match for Krishna.

"I hope after six months when Krishna returns, he is able to lead a normal life and won't require blood transfusions regularly. We will always be thankful to all the people who helped us," said Jitendra.

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Want to help?
Bank account details if you wish to donate:

Krishna J Gulwani
State Bank Of India
A/C # 37061654007
IFSC: SBIN0004205
Branch # 4205

Krishna Jitendra Gulwani
SVC Co-Operative Bank Ltd
Dadar East (MICR: 400089073)
A/C # 108303130000652
IFSC: SVCB0000083

For any queries, call on...
+919820145832/+919820775152 (Jitendra Gulwani)
+919820145839 (Vaishali Gulwani)

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