Appeal to support VHL (and MDR-TB) survivor

This is an appeal from a person in her own words who urgently needs support for her healthcare needs. She is a brave woman who is a living example of the oft-quoted adage - 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going...' Read her story in her own words -a real-life experience, full of grit, courage and determination, to continue living and spreading light despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.
(CNS has met and interviewed Payel and strongly supports her efforts to exercise her right to health. Please consider supporting her personal fight against Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) Syndrome and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Kindly find her contact details or ways to support below)

A pennyworth experience

I have been suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) Syndrome since my early childhood. This disorder results in excess blood flow due to hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) resulting in repeated tumor growths in different organs of my body. VHL is a lifetime disease. Patients need to be constantly checked and treated/operated for the tumors and cysts that develop at various sites in the central nervous system and visceral organs throughout their lifetime. Because of the complexities associated with management of the various types of tumours in this disease, treatment is multidisciplinary.

Very often timely aggressive surgical intervention is the only cure. As a VHL liver transplant patient, I have undergone and 9 surgeries one brain tumor removal, besides grappling with MDR-TB which was diagnosed in 2010. I developed MDR-TB. Manifestation of my latent TB happened under immune compromised situation, confirmed by a radiological conference facilitated by Dr Randeep Guleria at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). I developed pulmonary, bone and lymph involvement, to such an extent that it gnaws my bones and I walk with help of a four-toed stick.

The latest CT study of my chest reveals multiple nodules, many of them calcified, and also fibroatelectatic lesions in both lung fields. The appearance is consistent with chronic tubercular lesions. Compared with previous CT chest studies of 2010 and 2011, there is relative regression of the lung parenchymal lesions. CT study of head reveals an enhancement in right cavernous sinus as well as right convexity. In view of the size of lesion and my age (33years), radiosurgery-- cyber knife—has been suggested by doctors at Medanta Medicity Hospital.

My father’s sudden demise in 2010 has left me and my mother in a penniless situation, and my younger brother is now the sole earning member of the family. We are left with nothing to carry on my treatment. We are homeless, being evicted by landlords as and when they feel I am contagious because of my TB. At present I am living in a crummy rented place with narrow stairs, without ventilation, which is having adverse effects on my lung lesions, bone TB and hypoxia related VHL tumors which are growing fast. Initial support was provided by my friends and well-wishers but they and my brother can no longer pull the economy of my diseases together.

I hence appeal to you to give me a helping hand. So far, I have gathered plenitude of experience but not lost the verve to live. Cyber knife doesn’t make me faze out with fear, but lack of funds and understanding makes the feelings worse. Please help me live the joyous life with a rare disorder as I am a survivor and not merely a sufferer.


Payel Bhattacharya 

Contact details
Facebook page:
Mobile: +91-9711197537

Bank details:
Name of account holder: Payel Bhattacharya
Bank's name: ICICI Bank
Account number: 103101510715  
RTGS/ NEFT/ IIFSC code: ICIC0001031
Bank's address: ICICI Bank, Sector-15, Gurgaon Branch, SC059, 60 Old Judicial Complex, Gurgaon-122001

Read November 2012 article from CNS Archive based upon Payel's interview:
When Will We Have A Surer Safer And Shorter Cure For MDR TB?