Gangadaran Memorial Fund

It was just another day. A crisp, refreshing spring day in May 2017. A busy one, of course - just like the day before or the one before that. Just another day in the life of Gangadharan Sivachandra (Ganga). But, this is what he lived for. Being a clinical service lead physiotherapist at the Hammersmith Hospital, he relished every bit of his work, improving the lives of his patients that he dearly cared for. A proud dad of two wonderful kids and a loving husband, family was the centre of his universe and gave meaning to his life. Life was indeed, beautiful. But all that changed - suddenly.

He had been having fever on and off for a few weeks and had scheduled a visit to the doctor’s, which would change all that. He had a routine blood test in the morning and by afternoon, he had an urgent call from his doctor asking him to go to the hospital. He had been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). Within hours, he was admitted to the hospital and had his first dose of chemotherapy the very next day. More followed shortly - unrelenting, energy-sapping chemotherapy. But, Ganga was undaunted. With his family by his side, he could beat anything, let alone his cancer. What Ganga did not take into account was his genetic makeup.

The next 15 months were a battle. Numerous hospital visits for chemotherapy and when that failed to control the progress of the cancer, a successful bone-marrow transplant from his brother. It was looking good. Ganga was even charting his return to work on 12th June 2018. He was looking forward to getting back to his work and catching up with his colleagues. It was never meant to be.

On 5th June, he had a routine blood test which sadly, showed that his cancer had returned. This was followed by further doses of chemotherapy. His doctors were running out of options, but there was a ray of hope. He could be enrolled in a trial and if that works, could save his life. Then came the bad news - his cancer had spread to the brain, which would make him ineligible for the trial. In essence, cruelly slamming the doors shut on any hopes of recovery.

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is an extremely rare, but aggressive blood cancer that affects around 2600 people in the UK every year. It has a bleak 5-year survival rate of about 26% (3 out of 4 will die within 5 years). Younger patients have better survival rates, but this is heavily influenced by one’s karyotype - the genetic makeup. Unbeknownst to Ganga then, his genetic makeup would make him very susceptible to this cancer, made recurrence highly likely and the cancer resistant to conventional treatment.

With the cancer spreading to his brain, he had all but a few days to live and sadly passed away on Sunday, 26th August 2018, surrounded by by his wife, two boys and other close family and friends.

Ganga was an ebullient, self-effacing gentleman with a beaming and infectious smile. He had the rare ability to enthuse those around him and infuse abundant energy and verve. Even during the darkest, bleakest days of his disease, he never lost his joie de vivre and has been a pillar of support for his whole family. What the cancer took away from his body, it could never take away from his heart. And neither could it take him away from our hearts.

Ganga had touched so many lives during his time on Earth. Your donation will be of immense help and ensure that financial stress is one less thing that his family would have to endure at this testing and difficult time. 

Thank you so much for your support!
  • Anonymous 
    • £20 
    • 46 mos
  • Michael Clements 
    • £60 
    • 48 mos
  • Cécile Plessner 
    • £45 
    • 50 mos
  • Lynn Kinnear 
    • £20 
    • 50 mos
  • Yvonne Stephen 
    • £20 
    • 50 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Muthu Venugopal 
Hema Sivachandra 

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