Child's cancer treatment impoverishes family

TN News

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Nguyen Quang Triet, 7, has been undergoing two years of treatment for cancer of the nerve cells. Photo courtesy of VietNamNet

Nguyen Thi Thu Hang sobs as she watches her seven-year-old son smiling and having fun: she has spent all she had and has run out of money for his cancer treatment.

The poor family from the southern province has been getting the boy treated for nearly two years for neuroblastoma, or tumor of embryonic nerve cells, news website VietNamNet reported.

Hang said her son, Nguyen Quang Triet, developed a tumor the size of a chicken egg beneath his belly skin but had no other symptoms of sickness.

Following neighbors' advice she treated him with Chinese herbal medicine, but he only became sicker.

She then took him to a hospital and found out he had the malignant tumor.

Feeling guilty for not seeking proper treatment in the first place, Hang has since been paying all the money she could lay her hands on to treat him.

Her husband Nguyen Van Binh earns only around VND3 million a month while the family has another child to feed.

The couple have been borrowing money for Triet's treatment, but are still unable to pay many of the medical bills.

Their only asset is an old motorbike worth VND1.5 million for Binh to go to work.

Hang used to augment the family's income by picking flowers to sell, but for the past two years she has spent most of her time in hospital.

How to help

Donations to Nguyen Quang Triet can be given to his father Nguyen Van Binh at Hamlet 5, Tam Hiep Commune, Chau Thanh District, Tien Giang. Binh can be reached at his cell phone 0163 524 9497.

She has a recurring nightmare of someone taking her son away or him just leaving her while she is unable to do anything to stop it.

"My condition is terrible now. Will my nightmare come true?"

Hang said her family has been poor for three generations now, the biggest misery according to Vietnamese beliefs.

"My parents had a difficult time, me too, and now my son does not have money for treatment."

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