By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina have poured out their hearts and opened their wallets to ensure a 6-month-old baby will live to see his first birthday and beyond.
After being born with a malignant tumor, Arslan Kulacic was operated on when he was only 4 months old. But later the tumor returned and grew even bigger.
Since Arslan is so young, more surgery is not an option, and his continued treatment is only possible in a private hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.
The family said that after examining his case, Turkish doctors recommended 18 months of chemotherapy, but at a hefty price tag of €133,000 ($165,000), a sum his parents cannot effort.
On Friday, humanitarian organization Pomozi.ba launched a fund-raising campaign for Arslan’s treatment.
"No family wants to see their child dying," said father Sabahudin Kulacic.
As news of the tragic story spread, within days the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina stepped up and pitched in the full amount for the first treatment.
Some Turkish citizens living in Sarajevo will also contribute to the treatment by holding a charity sale on Wednesday.
Mario Prokop, living in Germany, said that he would sell his car for the baby and send the money to the parents.
"My heart aches. That little baby will have dreams when he grows up. I would like him to make them come true," said Prokop.
Following the outpouring of donations, on Tuesday the baby left for Istanbul to begin his 18-month treatment.