A call to action. A cry for help. An opportunity for you to realize your power to give strength to someone affected by a blood cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma). Get involved. Make someone stronger.
Jai is my younger brother but, truth be told, he has actually always been the “bigger” person. He is one of those rare guys that have a genuine concern for others and the willingness to do something about it. He is the guy who will get you a gift for your birthday every year even if it has been a one way street for ages. The friend who will ring you up every so often to check on you whether you have been keeping in touch or not. The nice lad that no one would ever want to harm and that you root for…
Destiny had other plans for my brother though. Jai Uttamchandani, 34 years old, the one with the big heart, the “bigger person” was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on the eve of Christmas in 2012.
Once diagnosed, he took the next flight out with his wife Dia and their daughter Zara, 5 to get treated in Bangalore, India. Chemotherapy is tough on the body and on the mind, but throughout his treatment, Jai remained the same as always: optimistic, generous, and the one who made us laugh. Sure he had his bad days, but the happy natured Jai was never gone for too long.
We were ecstatic when we were told that he was officially in remission on August 2013. His oncologist even recommended not to test for the disease for another 12 months since his results were so promising. He immediately made plans to go back home to Curacao to resume living his life while us, all his loved ones were thankful believing that the worst was over: Jai would be fine! He’s a good guy, whatever happened had just been a enormous cosmic mistake and things would just go back to normal now. The order of life had been restored..
Yet again, life decided to veer off-script: barely 2 months after, the nightmare was back. we were all devastated to hear that the disease had returned when we had barely exhaled a sigh of relief. Once again, he had to uproot his family and move back to Bangalore for the second time. He is now in an hospital undergoing an even stronger type of chemotherapy. It pains me to say this but his only hope of surviving for his wife & 5 year old daughter is by undergoing a Blood Stem Cell Transplant in the next couple of months.
Unfortunately, no family member is a match to be a donor for Jai. We have, therefore, tried looking for a match in a list of registered “donors” worldwide. However, out of the 50 donor registries & 18.5 million registered donors across the globe, very few Sindhis and Indians are registered as donors. So the search has proven to be unsuccessful and we are now running out of time.
This is where I need YOU to come in, to play a role in a story where Cancer gets defeated at the end. Let it be a happy ending, where the good guy makes it and the evil Cancer loses with your help : get tested and become a donor!
While my immediate reason is to save Jai, we will save a lot of other lives in the process. Let Jai and countless others not be victims to this war Cancer is waging on us.
Please pass the word to your family and friends. The more awareness and donations, the better the chances Jai and the others have at living a normal life.
Please get in touch with me if you are ready to get tested or if you have any additional questions. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org