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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day one at the Hospital

Today Vishal was admitted to the hospital (Hospital of University of Pennsylvania). The doctors wanted to do a couple of tests on him to determine the health of his heart. His first cycle of Chemo regimen will start from tomorrow. Apparently, the first cycle is going to last for a week. Anybody who has undergone/who has seen somebody undergo this treatment would tell you that this is the least pleasant experience of his/her life. In the past Vishal has had multiple sessions of Chemo, so he knows what to expect from it He is apprehensive but at the same time prepared for it. He is being cautiously optimistic and has decided to take each day as it comes.

His wife Swati is with him at the hospital providing him with much needed support. Though it was at a short notice, Swati's mother was able to join them last week. Her father will be here next week. Since he is not going to get a chance to eat much in the coming few weeks(The treatment is such that it kills all your cells including your taste buds and side effects include nausea and vomiting), tonight Swati made him his favorite meal. He likes Idlis and potatoes.

So, how did it all start? Around one and a half years ago when Vishal was working in Washington DC and Swati was in Philadelphia, he had come down with flu like symptoms - high fever, body aches and fatigue. He consulted a doctor who put him on regular flu medicine for few days. The symptoms persisted and additionally he noticed that the region around his ankle joints was swollen. The doctor directed him to see a haematologist who in turn did a bone marrow biopsy. In a sad twist of fate, he found out that he had Leukemia on his 29th birthday. This was in October of 2007. His red blood cell count was so alarmingly low that his doctor wanted him to start his treatment immediately. He did not even have sufficient time to react to his diagnosis and additionally his condition had worsened so much in a matter of couple of days that he could not even stand for more than 5 minutes. It was heart rending to see a person who was so active suddenly turn into a weak and helpless human being. Husband and wife both decided that Duke (North Carolina) was their best bet since Vishal's cousin Jogita lived close by.

After many cycles of painful chemotherapy and months of rigorous treatment, he was told that the count of malignant cells in his body was close to zero. He was able to lead a close to normal life for about a year and in between he under went frequent check ups. In his last check up which was a week ago, he found out that the cancer has come back. The doctors have now advised him to go through a bone marrow transplant.

Please keep Vishal in your prayers. He needs your support NOW!
Please take a bone marrow test or at least provide your support to him. We have been conducting drives for bone marrow tests at different places in the North East region. His cousin Jogita has been feverishly campaigning and organizing drives in North Carolina. These drives would not only help Vishal but many people, especially South east Asians who are suffering from this deadly disease. Please spread this message through mails, fliers, Networking sites like Orkut and Facebook. These little actions could drive this campaign further.

Please contact us if you want fliers or template of the flier. It would be very helpful if you can put up this flier at your work place, in your neighborhood, at nearby South east Asian grocery stores/Restaurants. If you want to organize drives in your region or if you have any questions/concerns please feel free to mail us at

Vishal and Swati would like to thank you all for your support.

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