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Sikh temple helps young migrant family for cancer treatment

Lakhwinder Singh and Usha Rani with their son. Source: Supplied

An Indian family on a temporary visa in Australia is relying on financial help from a Melbourne Sikh temple for cancer treatment of one of its members.

For Lakhwinder Singh, trouble literally came in threes.

The Indian national who has been in Australia for nearly a decade, moved to regional NSW in February this year in order to meet the requirements for his permanent residency.  

But a workplace accident on just the third day at his job in Albury forced him on work cover and left him unable to work for many months.

His wife’s chronic neck pain required multiple visits to the doctors. Despite changing many doctors, they were told it was due to tired muscles and the doctors advised physiotherapy.

Usha Rani cancer
Usha Rani

The family then decided to move to Geelong for better support and job opportunities where Mr Singh started driving a cab. However, he ended up hurting his back for which he is undergoing medical treatment. 

In the meanwhile, his wife's neck pain became so bad that, in Mr Singh’s words, he begged the doctor to prescribe diagnostic tests.

“When finally we got the test results, they showed infection in the nose, throat and ears,” he told SBS Punjabi.

Mr Singh decided to fly his wife to India where she was diagnosed with cancer.

While he has private insurance in Australia, he is struggling to pay the out of pocket costs.

“The Craigieburn Sikh Temple has been very kind to me. They started a fundraiser for me and gathered over five thousand dollars,” he said. "I can't thank them enough for this help". 

However, his wife’s treatment is yet to get underway in Peter Mac Cancer Centre where a team of doctors will assess the case.

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