A Heartbreaking Eid: Nasreen's Fight Against Cancer

Khadija Akhter Nasreen (16-year-old)

Khadija Akhter Nasreen (16-year-old)

Eid is a time of joy, celebration, and new beginnings for many. However, for Khadija Akhter Nasreen, a 16-year-old girl from Begumganj, Noakhali, this year's Eid was marked by pain, struggle, and an uncertain future. Diagnosed with cancer in April, Nasreen's life has taken a dramatic and tragic turn.

The Diagnosis

Nasreen was diagnosed with cancer just before Eid-ul-Fitr. Initially, she and her family noticed tumors appearing in various parts of her body. These tumors, though not immediately painful, were a sign of the severe ailment to come. The pain soon started in her right leg, leading to muscle atrophy and difficulty in walking. Nasreen's condition deteriorated rapidly, causing her immense pain and rendering her unable to walk or speak comfortably.

Family Background

Nasreen is the only child of Mohammad Khokon and Nazma Begum. Khokon, a rickshaw puller, and Nazma, a housewife, have faced significant financial difficulties. The family was already in debt before Nasreen's diagnosis, having recently moved from Chittagong to Noakhali after selling everything they owned in an attempt to start afresh.

Despite their financial struggles, they managed to borrow money to buy a rickshaw, which Khokon used to support his family. However, the news of Nasreen's cancer brought their hopes crashing down. Khokon had to sell his rickshaw for Tk 30,000 to fund her initial treatments, adding to their already substantial debt.

Medical Struggles

Nasreen underwent a mastectomy as part of her cancer treatment. Her mother, drawing from her own life experiences and health challenges, made the difficult decision to proceed with the surgery, hoping it would save her daughter's life. Unfortunately, the surgery and subsequent treatments have not been enough. The family's limited resources have made it increasingly difficult to afford the necessary medical care.

Nazma Begum has been forced to beg for money outside mosques to pay for Nasreen's treatment. Despite the shame and pain of begging, she prioritizes her daughter's life above all else. The family has also taken refuge at a relative's house in Jatrabari, Dhaka, to be closer to better medical facilities.

Emotional Toll

The emotional toll on the family is profound. Nasreen's dreams of a normal life have been shattered. Once a vibrant young girl, she now faces the harsh reality of her illness with a brave but breaking heart. During a conversation with Prothom Alo, Nasreen expressed her sorrow, saying, "No one buys new clothes on Eid al-Adha. I was going to die, so one of my sisters bought a yard cloth and sewed a new dress for me. After that, I have to buy cloth for the shroud.'' Her words reflect the depth of her despair and the cruel twist of fate that has befallen her.

Nazma Begum, trying to comfort her daughter, reassures her with promises of better days. She dreams of a future where Nasreen is healthy and happy, able to enjoy many more Eids with new clothes and joyous celebrations.

The story of Khadija Akhter Nasreen and her family is a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and the strength of the human spirit. It highlights the severe impact of illness on impoverished families and the lengths to which loved ones will go to save one another. As Nasreen battles cancer, her family's resilience and love stand as a testament to their enduring hope amidst the direst circumstances. Their story calls for empathy, support, and urgent action to assist families facing similar hardships.

Information and sources: prothom alo


পাঠকের মন্তব্য