Rising football star fights for life, all of Kerala pitches in

by Symptom Advice on April 9, 2012

HIS football talent was a chance discovery and his rise to captain of Kerala?s under-13 team swift. but two months ago, it all threatened to unravel as quickly for 14-year-old M Prem Singh Boharah whose family hails from Nepal.

He was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a blood disorder in which the bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells. His father, a retired security guard in Tamil Nadu, had little hope of raising the Rs 15 lakh required for the treatment ? until Kerala football fans chipped in. last week, Boharah?s treatment began at the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore.

Since bone marrow transplantation could not be done because of the lack of a matching donor, he has been receiving injections, and the course will be completed in a couple of days. Boharah will then have to stay in Vellore for three months for check-ups.

It was Kozhikode-based Sports and Education Promotion Trust (SEPT), which initially groomed Boharah, that stepped forward to raise the money. Launched in 2004 by a group of football players, SEPT aims to help players from impoverished families and is currently training 1,200 children in 41 centres spread across 11 districts of Kerala.

SEPT chairman and former national-level football referee Arunkumar Nanu said: ?Soon after Boharah was diagnosed with severe symptoms of blood disorder, he was taken to CMC. His father could come up with little, so we approached kind-hearted individuals to save the life of the boy.?

Having managed to put together Rs 11.75 lakh on its own, SEPT pooled in contributions from its sub-centres as well as individuals and institutions. besides, students and faculty of IIM-Kozhikode, which helps SEPT as part of its course?s social development component, contributed Rs 1.5 lakh, while Boharah?s Al-Farook Residential School in Kozhikode gave Rs 3.50 lakh.

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