BENGALURU: As a final-year undergraduate student pursuing business administration, Maria Fernanda Garcia Gonzalez has been looking forward to the next phase of life – graduating, getting a job and starting a career. But things have been rough for the 27-year-old student from Mexico who has recently been diagnosed with a tumour in her left ovary. She has been taking treatment from Dr Sreenivasa Rao at Ayaansh Hospital, Indiranagar.
Unable to manage the finances, Gonzalez has turned to crowd-funding platform Ketto to raise Rs 2 lakh. “Just after my mother was diagnosed with coronavirus in July, my health issues started. She’s a dentist and the pandemic has hit her practice very hard,” says Gonzalez whose father passed away last year. “In the Western culture, you fly away from home at the age of 18, but my parents supported me to the extent they could,” she adds.
The last couple of months have been an emotional roller-coaster, with funds going towards her mother’s treatment. Not wanting to bother family in these times, Gonzalez searched online about crowd-funding so that she could manage this independently. The student who got stuck in India due to the lockdown started having unbearable abdominal pain and was diagnosed as having an ovarian tumour. “My mom and I have done all we can to collect money for the medical expenses, but Rs 2 lakh is a huge amount,” she says.
Gonzalez is often asked why she’s turning to the public for help. “It is such a misconception in India that Westerners are financially well-placed. People are always asking me why I’m asking different sources for money,” says Gonzalez. She studied international relations back home while balancing jobs, including that of a bilingual receptionist, and decided to switch gears when she came to India.
“I’ve always been keen to come here. I felt that international relations may or may not land me the job I would want, which is why I decided to study business administration,” she says, adding that being older than her peers only makes her more serious.
“While the rest of them may bunk college, I know the effort it takes to be able to study,” she says. Right now, Gonzalez says her mother is worried being thousands of kilometres away. “The times are such that travel is not possible with borders closed. But Mexicans are known to be very brave, which I am trying to be,” she says.