Appeal for cancer care for Nepali worker

Min Dai in B P Koirala Cancer Hospital in Bharatpur before the surgery to remove his tumour.

Min Dai found it difficult to support his wife, two sons and mother while living in a squatter settlement in Chitwan, and ten years ago opted to go to Malaysia to work.

He used all his savings and borrowed money to pay a recruiter for a job and flew to Malaysia in 2011 to work as a security guard at a Panasonic factory in Selangor.

However, Min Dai found out he had been cheated by the recruiter, and was being paid only half the promised salary. So he left the company, hoping to earn more as an undocumented worker moving from one job to the next. 

He worked in many companies as a security guard, but because he was undocumented employers often took advantage of him, and did not pay his salary, or made him work without days off. He did not want to return to Nepal until he saved enough to pay back the loans he took to pay the recruiter.

Last year, the 38-year-old started getting a sharp pain in his left thigh, but did not have the time to get a checkup. Without a passport, proper papers and insurance, he could not be admitted to hospital.

Min Dai in 2011, just before going to Malaysia (left). Min Dai in 2018, working as a security guard in Selangor, Malaysia (right).

So, Min Dai decided to return to Nepal. But the Covid-19 pandemic hit and all flights to Kathmandu were cancelled. As his pain got worse, he finally managed to pay an agent $720 for a one-way ticket to Kathmandu in November 2011.

His family eagerly awaited his return, little knowing about his health condition. He got a checkup at the B P Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Bharatpur and was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma in his femur, a rare bone cancer. 

As an undocumented worker, Min Dai also did not qualify for support and loans from the Nepal government. Neither does he have insurance to pay for his hospital treatment. 

Min Dai’s wife works as a janitor in a hospital in Bharatpur and his mother runs a streetside shop. With savings nearly all gone, and the need to pay school fees for his two sons, the family is borrowing money to pay for hospital care.

The Nepal Embassy in Kuala Lumpur issues a one way travel certificate for undocumented workers without passports. Min Dai received his on 30 November, 2021 so he could fly back to Nepal.

Doctors performed an endoprosthetic surgery on Min Dai’s leg last week and removed a large tumour after a nine hour operation. A biopsy will determine the course of future treatment, but medical costs are expected to be extensive.

Min Dai’s pathology report on 19 December that confirmed chondrosarcoma (left). Surgery details by the doctor at BP Koirala Cancer Hospital (right).

Min Dai is recovering in the ICU at the Bharatpur hospital, and may need to be in hospital for at least another month. Part of the hospital bills were paid for through a GoFundMe campaign launched by Min Dai’s well-wishers which has so far raised $2,681 of the $13,000 goal.

Contributions have gone to pay for Min Dai’s hospital bills, and his supporters have made an appeal for further donations which will go to repay some of his loans.

Contributions can be made through the ‘Cancer Care for Min Dai’ GoFundMe Campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/f/CancerCare4Min or through the following bank account in Nepal:

Bank Name: Global IME Bank

Account Name: Hira Gurung

Account number: 0107010040271

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