Taking the Positives
20 Apr 2012
Five-year-old Girik is seeing a lot more of his father Lalit these days and for that Lalit is grateful.
Lalit is for the moment a stay-at-home dad, while Girik goes through treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia following diagnosis last August.
After working through the initial shock of Girik’s diagnosis, Lalit has focused all his energy on being positive for his son.
“I see spending time with Girik as a positive,” he says. “What he is going though is a lot more than we are, so why put him through anything more by being negative?”
Initially Girik’s diagnosis was a huge shock. In the morning he was visiting Middlemore with a sore tummy and not eating and by night he was admitted to Starship.
“In one day everything changed,” says Lalit. “The first 10 days were hard because of the shock and uncertainty – what did we do? Once we finally understood it was through no fault of our own we settled down to what we would go through and accepted it is a long process.”
The family now survives on a single income as Lalit is a stay-at-home dad and Mum Pooja continues her full time work in a bank.
One of the main things Girik misses is his friends from his Just Kidz daycare. Sometimes Lalit will drive by the daycare, so Girik can talk to his friends through the window and on his fifth birthday recently the daycare group all turned up to his house, standing outside to sing Happy Birthday. The family are thankful for the support from the staff of Just Kidz daycare.
Girik also receives a lot of support from his seven-year-old sister Simran who was patient and helpful through Girik’s first photo shoot for the Foundation.
Girik has an unusual understanding for his age of the medical procedures involved in his treatment, and won’t let doctors proceed until he understand exactly which medicine he is getting and what is happening. He knows the names of a wide range of medications and has accepted bravely his lifestyle changes.
“Slowly and gradually we told him that he wouldn’t be able to go to daycare for a while, or eat certain foods, like McDonalds,” Lalit says.
Girik still has a long journey ahead of him, but with the support of his family, friends and the Child Cancer Foundation, he is ready to take on the challenges.
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