On June 9, Loselling MSS sought funds for its student who needs to undergo a bone marrow transplant to recover from a rare cancer on its social media page. The transplant cost was Nu 3.5 million (M).
Immediately the post went viral and within two days the school raised Nu 5M.
The 14-year old ill student, Tenzin Thomey is from Gangzur, Lhuntse, is a class VIII student of Loselling MSS in Thimphu.
Known as a hardworking student, he is the third of five siblings in the family of a government driver, and his wife, who is a housewife.
In 2018, he was diagnosed with ‘Fanconi Anemia’, an inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure. It results in decreased production of all types of blood cells.
Since early this year, Tenzin Thomey has been bedridden. As his health condition worsened, doctors said bone marrow transplant was his only option.
His father tried to find the fund, but it all went in vain. Then his school came to his rescue. The Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs approved the fund-raising request.
On June 9, Loselling MSS posted on the school’s official Facebook page about the condition of Tenzin Thomey, requesting people from all walks of life to contribute to meet the target amount.
Loselling MSS’ Vice Principal, Pema Dorji, said that the school had formed a committee consisting of teachers, Tenzin’s father and a relative to look after the boy. “With the support of all Bhutanese, we could gather Nu 5M within two days for the cause. It means a lot. As soon as we achieved the target amount, the donation drive account has been closed.”
“Teachers and students have been helping the family at the hospital too. We plan to send him as soon as possible to India for treatment. The school is also communicating with the consulate in Kolkata,” Pema Dorji said.
The Nu 5M in the joint account will be disbursed whenever necessary, according to Pema Dorji.
The Department of Law and Order (DLO) under the home ministry monitors such fund-raising activities.
To prevent unlawful fund-raising, the department came up with stringent rules earlier this year. Anyone who wants to request a donation must seek approval from the department.
DLO received and approved two fund-raising requests: one for kidney treatment and another for bone marrow transplant for Tenzin Thomey.
DLO’s official Karma Dorji said that the department would approve the request if it is reasonable. “In the past, there was no proper procedure. Due to this, we have seen many donation seekers in the past which may or may not be genuine.”
Any donation seeker has to first submit a written application to the DLO.
“If it is health-related, there should be a medical form signed by doctors, and total expenditure needed to refer the patient outside. Then, based on such criteria, DLO will assess and decide,” said Karma Dorji.
After the required amount is collected within the given time, the account is closed. In Tenzin Thomey’s case, DLO allowed Nu 5M as the total fund.
By Thinley Namgay
Edited by Tashi Dema