In a touching gesture, batch-mates of a girl student who suffers from a rare disease have got together to chip in towards her monthly treatment expenses. The students have pooled some money and have also started a crowdfunding drive on social media to help with the monthly treatment cost of Rs 25,000.

Drashti Parmar wants to become a radio jockey and is now doing a three-year course in journalism and mass communication despite her delicate health condition. She belongs to Kukarvada village in Mehsana district and stays at a PG accommodation in the city. Her father’s business got affected by the Covid pandemic. She suffers from lupus — an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues and starts affecting joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. There is no cure for the disease but can be improved with regular doses of anti-inflammatory medication and steroids. “I was diagnosed with lupus six years ago and have remained hospitalised at intervals for two years. Joint pain and fever are persistent, causing damage to my organs including kidney. My own immune system attacks me, for which the doctors have to lower my immunity. I take steroids and Tocilizumab injections every month,” 20-year-old Drashti told.

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She completed her HSC in 2019 and took a break in study due to her condition.

She then resumed and took admission in the city-based mass communication institute. “I have to stay away from eating outside to avoid more infections and mostly stay confined to the hostel. My fellow students and roommates are helping me,” she said. Her batch mates have already collected Rs 18,000.

Her father spent close to Rs 20 lakh on her treatment but is now finding it increasingly difficult after exhausting his savings. Drashti’s classmate Umang Rana said, “She is a good student and we want to see her become an RJ. We took her permission and started raising funds also on social media. We are optimistic that people will come forward to help, and she will keep good health,” he said.

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