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    Volume 9 Issue 22| May 28, 2010|

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Saving Little Tanha

Runa Laila

Tanha with Runa Raila

I first came to know about Tanha on Face Book. Her Aunt Atia Bilquis was on my friend list. Every now and then I would read her updates and the comments related to Tanha by her other friends. I found out that little Tanha had been diagnosed with blood cancer when she was just three and was being treated by Professor Dr. Afiqul Islam of BSMMU.

I sent Atia a message asking her to give me a call on my mobile. When she rang me I found out in detail about Tanha, and asked her if I could be of any assistance to her and Tanha.

She offered to come over with Tanha's medical reports so that I could have a better insight into the kind of treatment she was being given.

Atia came over the next day with her husband and little Tanha. Chubby cheeked and full of mischief it was hard to believe that this lovely, adorable child has been living with cancer for the past one and a half years.

I was very close to tears when she first came and gave me a hug and a kiss and whispered in my ear, "You are so beautiful, I want to look like you. Can you put some make-up on for me, just like you ?" I told her that she would have to be eighteen to be able to wear make-up.

Tanha is just four and a half, she has a long way to go before she's eighteen.

Her mother, Nahid Jabed is a homemaker. Her father cannot work, as he is himself very ill, suffering from Hepatitis C. He is undergoing treatment, so Tanha's Aunt, Atia Bilquis and her husband are sharing the entire responsibility of Tanha and her father's treatment. They have somehow managed to continue with Tanha's treatment (which includes chemotherapy) for the past two years, but are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the expenses. The treatment has to continue until the doctors give her a clean bill of health and any lapse in treatment would be fatal. So far, Tanha has responded well to the chemotherapy, perhaps because she is a child and therefore more resilient. The doctor is quite hopeful that if they can somehow manage the funds for Tanha's treatment she will be cured.

I'm praying for little Tanha whose formal name is Nashra Binte Mahmud, and I'm hoping all those people reading this will not only pray for her but will come forward to save her by giving generously.

My sister Dina Laila was diagnosed with blood cancer in 1976 and was treated for it in London for six months. She passed away on the December 27, 1976 at the age of 27, leaving behind her five year old son Najib. At that time technology was not what it is today and new medicines have come out since, which have made the difference between life and death.

After her passing away, I did six concerts and donated the entire proceeds to build a special ward in Dina Apa's memory, dedicated to the treatment of terminally ill children, at the Dhaka Shishu Hospital.

Bearing in mind that treatment for cancer is very expensive, I would like to stress that whatever you are willing and able to give, will go a long way in treating Tanha and other children like her. Let's make a beginning.

I am standing by her and her family to make sure that they can go ahead with her treatment, which needless to say is very expensive. I beseech all of you who are reading this to come forward and lend your support to little Tanha, whose name means ALONE. I don't want her to be alone again. I want to reassure her that WE will be standing by her side, holding her little hand as she grows up into a beautiful woman.

Anyone who wishes to help with Tanha's treatment can contribute to the following bank account:

Nahid Jabed
SB/AC NO-56997
Karwanbazar Branch
(Online bank account holders can send money from any UCBL bank of Bangladesh), or from any other bank, in any currency from anywhere in the world)

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