A teenage girl in India is dying of kidney failure, and at one time it seemed unlikely that she would get a kidney transplant simply because she’s a girl. Now, however, offers of help are pouring in from around the globe.
Just a couple of months ago, Kanchan Kumari’s future looked bright, as India Today reports. Though from a poor family, she had just passed tough entrance exams to a good school with top grades.
“Her joy knew no bounds,” the paper said.
Unfortunately, within a few weeks, she was inexplicably sick. Her parents took her to a local hospital in Bihar, where she was told her kidneys were failing and that she would need a transplant. Her parents then took her to a bigger and better-equipped hospital further away for a second opinion. They were told the same thing at the second hospital. Her parents brought her home.
Now, the 16-year-old sits in a hospital near their village, clinging to life, and in desperate need of a kidney transplant. However, for a time it was unlikely that she would ever get one. There are several reasons for that, not the least of which is the fact that she’s a girl.
In Bihar, according to the Indian newspaper, women donate kidneys, as do men, when the need arises. However, women in that region are far less likely to receive a donated kidney than to donate one. “Very few” women in the region receive donated kidneys from their relatives in the region, says the paper.
As for Kanchan, her father could potentially be a donor. However, her grandfather, Baleshwar Yadav, said that Kanchan’s father is the sole breadwinner for the family of seven and that potential complications from donating could cause him to be unable to work, rendering the family destitute.
Good folks in India, please help Kanchan Kumari, a resident of Shiekhupura, Bihar, who needs a kidney transplant immediately. She has been refused a kidney donation by her parents because she is a girl. Please don't let her die.
— Jajja (@SumairaJajja) July 28, 2019
What’s more, the cost of the surgery would be 500,000 Indian rupees (about $7,275), well beyond what the family could afford to pay. And there’s no guarantee of survival.
However, there is at least one other option for the family. They could, for example, apply for help through the Chief Minister Relief Fund (CMRF). That fund is generally used to help victims of natural disasters and other catastrophes, but families can use those funds for medical help, and indeed have done so in the past. However, the family appears to have not applied for help through that fund and has reportedly shown no interest in doing so.
Since this story broke, however, offers to help the young lady have been coming in from around the globe, reports The Statesman. One woman from California told the newspaper that she read of Kanchan’s plight and wanted to donate a kidney. Similarly, an Indian hospital asked for contact details so they could try to match up Kanchan with a donor.
According to The Better India, at least half a million Indians are in “dire” need of an organ transplant.