I have started this page to save the life of my dear husband, Vinay Narula. Time is running out and my daughter and I need your help.
After sharing 15 years of marriage and raising a 13-year-old daughter together, our world came to a standstill when my husband went to his doctor for treatment of a persistent sinus infection.
On July 17th 2015, my husband Vinay – a 37-year-old healthy man – received diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer — Extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma. There was delay in diagnosis, which proved costly — the cancer was diagnosed as stage 4 – already spread to his liver and lungs, and Vinay was given a poor prognosis.
While I struggled with emotions of anger and denial, Vinay remained optimistic and continued to be our rock as always. He took this as a mere “obstacle” in his life, determined to overcome it. He has always taken hardships in stride -- whether it was caring for his elderly mother, or being a father figure to his younger sister after their father passed away, finding her an amazing partner and paying for her wedding. He has always sported positive and productive thinking.
He endured 8 cycles of aggressive chemotherapy and stem cell transplant – all while continuing to be our family’s breadwinner and pillar of utmost inner strength and spirituality. After these brutal treatments and enumerable prayers, we thought we had successfully beaten the cancer. The PET scan didn’t show any evidence of lymphoma. For 6 months, we were at peace and thankful for the chance to be together and raise our 13-year old daughter. However, in August 2017, another PET scan showed recurrence of the cancer and despite 3 more cycles of chemotherapy, it continued to spread to his vital organs like heart.
At this point, local doctors have given up. He has failed chemotherapy, radiation and transplant. We have explored alternative medicine options but lymphoma has continued to spread.
In the past 6 months, we have experienced an emotional rollercoaster – it has challenged our faith in traditional medicine, pained our hearts and crushed our hope and spirits. We were heartbroken at so many levels…but we have now learned about a new line of treatment that can be a miracle cure for him, bringing glimpse of hope to our family.
A medication called Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is our only hope. This drug was used in a study of patients who had the same diagnosis as Vinay. The study showed excellent results for these patients (Kwong, et al. Blood. 2017 Apr 27;129(17):2437-2442) and currently under clinical trials for treatment of this disease in Hong Kong. Oncologists at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Massachusettes General Hospital have recommended this drug as Vinay's only hope for cure at this point.
Unfortunately, this medication costs $8,000 USD per cycle. Health insurance is uncommon in India, and we must pay out of pocket in advance for all medical care. We have exhausted all our funds for his treatment up to this point, and several treatment cycles are needed to achieve clearance of disease. Merck (manufacturer of the drug) has refused to provide assistance with high drug costs as compassionate care for Vinay despite promising results in similar patients with this medication.
Vinay is the sole breadwinner of our family and is unable to work until his health improves. Each day is a mental, emotional and financial struggle as I try to meagerly provide for us, especially our teenage daughter.
Vinay has always been a generous and remarkable soul. It is difficult to ask strangers for help when he has spent his whole life helping others. But time is running out for us, and I need help. Vinay needs your help. If you can find it in your heart to help us by sharing this page, messaging us with any suggestions, or donating any sum of money, we would be eternally grateful to you. Please help me save my daughter’s hero.