A 22-year-old woman in east India marred by a massive facial tumor, that has led her to be cruelly branded by some as ‘Monkey Girl’, has launched a campaign to raise money for surgery.
Asha Kumari, from Dhanbad in Jharkhand state, suffers from a facial adamantinoma, a type of tumor associated with swelling, pain and dental malocclusion that has distorted the shape of her upper jaw.
During an interview, Kumari related how her condition began as a mystery to her, and made all of her social interactions and activities, even down to feeding herself, much more difficult.
Both breathing and eating are extremely difficult for Kumari, who frequently begins bleeding from her teeth during her meals, as well as suffering from breathing difficulties during the winter.
Recounting her experiences interacting with others, she says: ”People sneer, look at me with disgust, hence, I have never been able to make too many friends. I hang out with two of my neighbors. It hurts when people turn their back on you, laugh at you.
Asha says she is not allowed to play or interact with children: ”If by chance I pick one up, the child’s mother comes up to me and admonishes. A lot of things get said behind my back, but, there are times when they tell me directly to maintain a distance from their children. They are afraid if I touch the child, the kid may suffer the same disease,”
Asha would need surgery to both remove her tumors and to get her face reconstructed in her effort to beat her condition. The procedure is going to cost around Rs 10,00,000 (USD$14,215.50).
A crowdfunding campaign has been started on Ketto, India’s version of Gofundme, to help raise funds for her treatment.