Yenyen and Darshan

Parent and Survivor

Meet Darshan, who is currently six years old. When he was three, his mom Yenyen sent him to the emergency room following a persistent high fever and whole body aches. It was there that they ran several blood tests, where the doctor suspected Darshan’s condition may be more serious than an infection. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). 

For Darshan, the first few months of treatment were the worst.  Until then, his life had been completely normal. This all changed with the cancer. “It was very tough. Because he was so young, he didn’t understand what was going on. Whenever doctors and nurses came, he would begin to scream and cry, because whenever we touched him he would feel pain. He could not articulate himself, so he expressed himself through crying,” Yenyen shares.

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Darshan today  

It was equally tough for the entire family to see him in distress. “Whenever he cried, we thought about how we could help alleviate his pain. We all wished we could take away whatever he was going through. We couldn’t do much. We felt so helpless.”

During Darshan’s battle with cancer, Yenyen found support from other parents who were in the same cancer ward, whose kids were also going through treatment. They developed their own support group as they went through similar treatment journeys. She also found the help from doctors and nurses invaluable: they were able to give advice, encouragement, and allayed any doubts they had regarding treatment. 

Yenyen also found support from organisations such as VIVA, who come up with external support for children with cancer. From educational support programmes, social activities, and organising little celebrations that bring a smile to the faces of little heroes battling cancer. All the support she has received has been equally important on Darshan’s journey to recovery.

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 Whenever he cried, we thought about how we could help alleviate his pain. We all wished we could take away whatever he was going through. We couldn’t do much. We felt so helpless.

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Darshan has since recovered and is today on the road back to wellness. He is back to being warm and bubbly, full of life and energy. He has been taking part in enrichment activities, such as art therapy and educational tuition.

For other parents who may be going through similar challenges of caring for a child with cancer, Yenyen emphasizes how parents must not give up. “Your journey and my journey may not be the same. Have faith, whatever your religion is. Don’t give up because your child needs you to get through this.”

She hopes that as Darshan is now better, he would be able to catch up with all the things he’s lagged behind. But most importantly she hopes the cancer doesn’t come back; “Just like Darshan always tells me, I’m a normal boy again, so that’s what I hope for.”

Watch the video to learn more about Darshan’s story.


It takes a community to support a cancer patient throughout the course of treatment and recovery. From fellow families, doctors, nurses, scientists, educators, nutritionists, therapists, to kind-hearted donors and organisations, facing cancer need not mean facing it alone. 

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, we will be sharing a series of Survivor Stories—stories of strength, full of love, and filled with hope for the future. Donate to VIVA and help us rewrite the future of children with cancer.