29 JANUARY 2020 I Australia’s Nepalese community has raised well over $100,000 for Arjun Timilsina, a 31-year-old father of one who is suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), a type of cancer that affects blood and bone marrow.
The Nepalese diaspora in Australia, estimated to be chasing 100,000 in number, is known for its readiness to hustle a fundraiser when a member of the community suffers from some life-threatening illness, just the way it now has in case of Brisbane-based Arjun Timilsina who is battling AML.
Looking at similar campaigns in the past, hundred thousand dollars is almost given in case of serious illnesses. There have been multiple instances when thousands of community members chipped in to raise well over $100,000 for distressed community members.
While this kindness of the community is extremely appreciated by victims and their families, some in the community urge international students and temporary residents to pay serious attention to the fine prints of their insurance policies.
The Queensland chapter of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) began a GoFund campaign on January 16 after the organisation’s local leadership became aware of Mr Timilsina’s medical condition.
In mere 13 days, the donated funds stand at $103,610 (as at 29 January) and the campaign is still in momentum. Nearly three thousand people have responded to the call of NRNA QLD. There are nearly three thousand followers of the campaign while eight thousand people have shared it on the Internet.
Doctors have apparently advised the Timilsina family that the life-saving bone marrow transplant would cost somewhere around $350,000, NRNA QLD’s coordinator Umesh Khadka earlier said.
In addition to the hundred thousand plus donation on GoFund, the family of Arjun Timilsian is understood to have direct contributions to their personal bank accounts.
Earlier, a cancer specialist told southasia.com.au that he could not stress enough on the need to have a proper medical insurance in place before flying to Australia. The Queensland-based doctor pointed out that having insurance policy alone was also not enough if you did not know what your policy covers and what not. “Again, just having insurance policy is not enough because what would you do if serious forms of diseases such as cancer is not covered by your policy?” he asked.
The doctor, who requested anonymity as he was not the treating doctor of Mr Timilsina, reminded that treating serious forms of cancer in Australia can be “extremely extremely” expensive. So for anyone without a Medicare card, treating cancer in Australia is almost next to impossible, unless of course if you are from a very rich background. “It could even go upward of $3000 a day depending on the case, that’s $90,000 a month just for the treatment and hospital stay initially,” he said. The bills would go even higher if there were post-procedure complications, he warned.