Strangers build a family on social media to support breast cancer patient

The social media group helps Nanded resident Trupti and her husband, Priyaranjan, with treatment costs as well as accommodation in Mumbai during her chemotherapy sessions

Strangers build a family on social media to support breast cancer patient

Amidst cynicism surrounding social media, here’s a story affirming the fact that if used constructively, like everything else, it has the power to change lives.

When Dr Charushila Jadhav from Bhopal read a message on social media seeking help for cancer treatment of Trupti from Nanded, he decided it was time to step up. He created a network of people willing the help the 25-year-old and her husband, Priyaranjan, not only with finances but also with accommodation in Mumbai.

Strangers build a family on social media to support breast cancer patient
Dr Charushila Jadhav

“I live in Bhopal and Trupti is undergoing treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. I haven’t met the couple. However, when I got to know about the situation faced by Trupti and her husband, I realised distance did not matter. I circulated the message in my medical circle, and several people joined hands. We have built a virtual family, who are strongly rooting for the young couple,” said Dr Jadhav.

Trupti was diagnosed with breast cancer two years after her marriage. She was operated in Nanded and the tumour was removed. But after few months the tumour grew and she had to be operated on again at Tata Memorial Hospital. The couple now needs Rs 4 lakh to continue with chemotherapy, 17 sessions a year.

“I work in private sector and earn Rs 8, 000 a month. We would not have been able to manage the cost of treatment without the help of these kind people. Thanks to them, four chemotherapy sessions have already been done,” said Priyaranjan.

Trupti’s and Priyaranjan’s virtual family have taken it upon themselves to take care of their overall well-being. They even made arrangements for their accommodation, as this is a big problem for outstation patients coming to Mumbai. The couple earlier used to spend the nights at a railway waiting room during her chemotherapy sessions.

“It is not only financial help a patient needs. There are many aspects involved in treatment. For patients coming to Mumbai, accommodation is a big problem. After receiving the message, this too is being taken care off,” said Dr Jadhav

In the meanwhile, doctors have given Trupti permission to travel for chemotherapy as she has been responding well to the treatment so far. “We travel to Mumbai for a day or to two for chemo. We have got so much help from everyone. We have been able to come this far because of social media. It is an effective medium to bring like-minded people together,” Trupti told My Medical Mantra.

A writer and lyricist by profession, Rahul Salve, who is a member of Helping Hand for a Blood, an organisation based in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, said, “Through our organisation, we are trying to help Trupti by arranging funds for her chemotherapy. Few sessions have already been done. We should be able to help with nine to ten sessions. We got to know about her condition through social media messages and I am glad that we could help.”