A tragedy, in five lines;
This is Vinay and his wife Rashmi.
They were married in 2005.
He was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2006.
He is 28.
He needs a bone marrow transplant, in the next six weeks.
If you aren’t already part of the National Marrow Donor Program registry, please consider what you would be going through if this were your little brother, childhood friend or husband. Wouldn’t you want as many desis as possible to be in the database? Vinay’s greatest hope lies with someone like him, but the number of us who are registered is so low, it’s pathetic.
All it takes is a few minutes of your time. A swabbed cheek. And maybe, with that selfless gesture, you increase the chances that this person who probably has so much in common with you goes on to live the life we all deserve.
This is what Vinay’s parents have to say:
We cannot express in words what this is like. All we can do is implore you to close your eyes for a moment, and imagine that this is your son, your brother, your best friend. We are guessing you would move heaven and earth to help save his life…
Vinay is the world to us – he is warm, funny, loving. We have watched him grow from a little baby, to a young boy playing sports, to a fine young man determined to be a doctor, to a man marrying the girl of his dreams. Please help us help our son have a chance to live – to be with his wife, with us, and his friends. [Hema and Partha]
Drives are planned in Fremont, Cerritos, Anaheim and Livermore; additional information may be found here. Speaking of additional information, when I numbly surfed through Vinay’s website, the following three points made me cringe:
When a Caucasian is looking for a match they find 15 matches on an average where as opposed to an Indian they might find one match or none.
This can happen to anyone at any age and god forbid if you get into similar situation then this will be the only registry that will come to rescue.
There is no such registry in India and when an Indian kid is looking for a marrow match this registry is the only resort. [HelpVinay.org]
We’ve written about others whose lives were similarly threatened by our failure to represent in such a vital way. What would it take to move you to get involved? Would it matter if I told you that like every 8th desi, he’s from Fremont?
That he went to Ardenwood and eventually UCB (though not this UCB)?
That his favorite books were The Hobbit and Midnight’s Children?
That he liked The Godfather (but only 1 and 2), Garden State and Million Dollar Baby?
That he’s Seshu “Tiffinbox” Badrinath’s cousin?
He listens to Coltrane, Miles Davis and 2pac?
And yes, like every male I know, he likes to watch Scrubs and Sportscenter?
Do you identify with him yet? I pray you do. Because one of you could be his match and that would be the sweetest thing. My Uncle died of Leukemia and I’m sure each of us knows someone else who has been similarly affected. Many of you possibly know Vinay, his wife Rashmi or his brother Bharath; I hope that even if you don’t, you’ll do the right thing and offer the tiniest part of yourself up. I dream of a day when we don’t have to forward these heartbreaking stories via GMail, publicize links to websites set up for the most tragic of reasons, pass around PDF flyers or beseech each other to get registered. It shouldn’t be this hard to save a life.