Soumy’s Cancer Treatment with Love from our Youth

Sarah Francis

When 7-year-old Soumy from rural Nepal was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma his parents could never have anticipated that four young women on the other side of the world would step in to raise money for his treatment.

Not knowing how they would pay for the six-month cancer treatment, Soumy’s parents turned to their local government minister for help, who directed them to Sano Paila and BTO. As soon as our Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) heard about the family’s predicament they offered to step in and help.

“After learning about [Soumy’s] situation I felt empathy and compassion for him and his family,” says Caitlin Morrissey, head of the YAC. “I was eager to start fundraising, knowing that this would help them during a very difficult time and that it could relieve as much stress as possible, so that the main focus could remain on Soumy’s health and recovery.”

Soumy’s parents are day labourers who work all day just to put food on the table. The cost of six months of chemotherapy for their son was well beyond their means. Amazingly, the YAC raised US$2,500, more than double what was needed. This meant that Soumy’s mother was able to take time off work to travel with Soumy for his treatment, and take care of him at home during his recovery. There is $1,400 leftover for other children in need of support.

“We raised the majority of the funds via Facebook Fundraisers,” says Caitlin. “Funds were also raised through personal fundraisers set up on BTO’s website. One of our YAC members even hosted a pizza night fundraiser! As a committee member tasked with fundraising for [Soumy], I found it very helpful receiving information regarding the family’s needs. While still maintaining the family’s privacy, this information was a tremendous help in how the YAC was able to tell the story to our potential donors.”

Thanks to our big-hearted BTO community, Soumy has completed his treatment and is recovering well.

December 10, 2021

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