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The battle is on: My Dad vs. Cancer

$123,949 of $400,000 goal

Raised by 652 people in 11 months
By Nikita Urs

We are a family of four. My brother, Dharam, now 23, has special needs. He has cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, seizure disorder, traumatic brain injury, Raynaud’s syndrome, requires 24 by 7 care, and has had a stroke. My father, mother, and I have cared for him for the last 23 years by ourselves, without any help.

 My name is Nikita, I am 20, and a student at UCLA,  on scholarships, working to get my B.A. in Psychology by 2019.

My dad, Ram, has had severe back pain for the last few months, (we thought it was regular back pain from carrying my brother), that had gotten progressively worse, with other symptoms manifesting. Due to our family's unique and difficult circumstances, we barely make ends meet each month, with help from family, friends, and our church.

On June 1st, 2017, my father who is only 52, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. His bone marrow is packed with malignant plasma cells, which caused a multitude of lesions and minute fractures in his spine and ribcage. He is presently in a lot of pain and can no longer help care for my brother, who he is very attached to. My father has always been the rock of my family, and without him, it would be hard for any of us to function. He has a very challenging road ahead of him with many months of chemotherapy and radiation.

Because this type of cancer is aggressive, so is the treatment. To stand a fighting chance, my dad also requires high dose Chemotherapy, Radiation, and Auto Transplant in a hospital, and we are overwhelmed by how expensive the treatment can be. My dad is the most God-fearing, selfless, and hilarious man. He is my inspiration and surely a role model and mentor to many. Those that know him have had the good fortune to first handedly experience his kindness, generosity, and self-sacrificing nature. Our family really needs my father around and this diagnosis knocked the wind out of our sails.

The treatment for multiple myeloma has advanced greatly in the past ten years. Doctors are optimistic that at my father’s young age, with this treatment, he has a very good chance at remission. You can help my father access this much-needed treatment and help him battle for his life, by donating and sharing this post with others. It doesn’t matter how small or large, every donation helps. It is with heavy hearts and utmost humility, that our family is reaching out to all of you for your prayers, love, and much needed support.

All donations will go directly to Urs family to assist with uninsured medical expenses, travel and treatment, to allow our family to focus our energy on beating Cancer. Together we can!
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On certain days, it felt to me like our family stood on the edge of a great cliff that could collapse any moment, like the houses perched on hilltops that would crumble down with heavy rains, if their foundation was not strong enough. They say, “God will never give you more than you can handle”. But as our day-to-day battles gets rougher and more petrifying than anything we can imagine, it feels like God is giving us more than we can handle. Leaning on Him is the only way we will find the strength to keep moving forward. God never expects us to do it alone. Indeed, it is lot easier said than done, but in our darkest hours, when we find that flame flickering, and everything in us is hurting and crying out, surrendering to God completely, is the only key to peace and endurance.

After two emergency room stays at the hospital due to sceptic shock, and consulting with his oncologists and the Myeloma specialist, at Mayo Clinic, it was finally agreed upon that this could be a severe adverse reaction to the Chemo Infusions that Ram was having. Apparently 2-5% of people treated by this drug can have such severe reaction. In the doctor’s words, “it was nice that you got to come home the last two times, the next time may not be so lucky.” So, presently the plan is to change the Chemo infusion drug to another one and start him on that next week. We are hoping it will not have severe adverse effects on him. In the meantime, we are continuing with the rest of the Chemotherapy and multitude of pills in rainbow colors, organic food, etc. Ram is continuing to deal daily with the pain from unresolved rib fractures and spine lesions, the neuropathy and fatigue. And the quest for the most ideal donor match in still ongoing.

Today marks the anniversary of the day I realized Rams symptoms were way bigger than anything we could handle at home, or a simple visit to a clinic. The day I decided to rush him to the hospital, barraged by multitude of medical tests and procedures….and never looked back. Our lives have been infinitely changed. In this saga of human frailty and resilience, lies a story about love, loss, joy and the fight for survival. And through it all, the walk of faith became stronger and its foundations built deeper, for the adventure that our Lord wants us to endure. He certainly has a complete view of our life, for He is the creator and with God all things are possible. Hope is an anchor of the soul!

Thank you for journeying with us, for supporting us and for your incessant prayers.
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Last week after his chemotherapy infusion Ram called me from the hospital to say his BP was a bit low. I felt a knot in my stomach and instantly knew something was going wrong. He drove home by himself...and by early evening he had the same symptoms as last time, low BP, labored breathing, ashen face, severe chills and a very high temp. Finally found someone to rush him to the hospital. He was poked, prodded, scanned and treated with fluids and iv antibiotics. His veins are all shot. He finally came home last night with severe fatigue and labored breathing, antibiotics and instructions to check BP, temp and pulse ox few times a day. His body seems to be getting weaker as these episodes are becoming more frequent. Being the clay in the potter’s wheel and being put through fire can be extremely grueling.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 This promise we shall cling to as we are surrounded by insurmountable challenges day after day. The family begins to fracture. Extended indefinite periods of trauma take a toll on the human health. Soon the threats from within loom as large as the perils outside.
I would like to believe that tomorrow is another day, and I do believe in miracles. So, the four of us continue to patiently wait for God to give us that peace that passeth all understanding. This life now is becoming a stronger walk in faith by the grace of God. We are at peace and know there are going to be many uncertain circumstances in Rams journey of healing and we are all going to get through, leaning on each other and ever more on God and come out victorious.

Thank you all for your emotional, financial, physical and spiritual support. We couldn't traverse these paths without you.
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My sincere apologies for a delayed update. Fear is dreadful. It sucks the life out of our soul and drains us dry of contentment and keeps us from dreaming. Turns us into a weepy mess. Don’t get me wrong. I’m often in this state of mind. However, “The brevity of life grants us the power to abide, not an excuse to bail. Fleeting days don’t justify fleeing problems but strengthen us to endure them.” Max Lucado.

I sincerely apologize for some automatic repetition Facebook posts in the past few weeks. Go Fund is looking into the same and trying to resolve it. This however is a new update.

It took a while for Ram to recover from his last hospitalization and is now finally close to his “new normal”. Continuing with regular aggressive chemotherapy, weekly infusions and blood work, monthly myeloma panel tests, bone strengthening injections, doctor follow ups, pharmacy runs, etc. Finally falling into somewhat of a pattern. Home front has been the same struggles of arranging care, diets, medications, cleanliness, sanitizing, etc. Ram has had a few abnormalities in his Myeloma panel and blood work as expected. He has completed his HLA mapping, and our children and his brothers have been tested for a donor match. The transplant doctor is also looking into the donor registry for the most viable donor for an Allogenic stem cell transplant for Ram. Just when we finally settle into a new normal for a few days, life throws us few more curveballs, that shatter our lives yet again. We are praying for a miracle, here. "You're making a masterpiece, you’re shaping the soul in me, you’re moving where I can't see, and all I am is in Your hands”

The journey ahead seems overwhelming and daunting. Life is hard, it’s scary, it’s lonely, it’s confusing, it’s dark and there are times when it’s more than we could ever possibly deal with by ourselves. His promise for endless joy encourages us to stand firm during the difficult times of our lives. It would take an army for us to survive this...and God mobilized an army of people big and small, all over the world, to help us in every possible way, to inch forward and get through the challenges of each day.

To all the family and friends that we lost because all this was too much for them to handle (but are silently praying for us), and to all those long-lost family, friends and strangers that walked into our lives when our whole life is falling apart, we praise God for using you in our lives and are praying for each one of
you, just as you are for us. And to those that lost family members or have been diagnosed with a grave illness, you are not alone. As hard as the journey may
seem to be, have Faith, Hope and Love!

"I know You're able and I know You can, Save through the fire with Your mighty hand, But even if You don't, My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt, Would all go away if You'd just say the word, But even if You don't, My hope is You alone" Mercy Me
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A quick update as we had a setback with Ram’s health. Grief has a peculiar scent, rearing it’s ugly head every now and then. It drains the life out of us, and difficulties and tears are never far away. Grief constantly challenges my faith to a duel. I wish my faith wasn’t challenged in so many ways on so many fronts. But what else can I really hang on to? Letting go of every single dream, I lay each one down at Your feet. I try to win this war I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest, No matter what I face You're by my side.

On March 27th, Ram felt very tired and weak and went to take a short nap. He awoke within a half hour shaking like a leaf all over, his face ashen and a temp of only 99.6. Within the next hour or so it spiked up to 103.4 and then to 104.5. On advice from his docs and help from a friend we rushed him to emergency room and he was admitted to ICU after a series of poking, prodding and x rays. He was treated for Septic shock and Pneumonia with IV antibiotics, fluids and continuous monitoring of his heart and kidneys. He came home finally on Friday night, and is continuing with his antibiotics, but we had to give his chemotherapy a break for two weeks. Praying he continues to heal and can get back on track after a week. He is in a lot of pain and is very fatigued presently, although he is in very good cheer and spirits with others. I praise God for his ever smiling demeanor for the rest of the world.

Just like sugar sweetens, devotion takes away grief from the oppressed, sadness from the lonely and discontent from the poor. Devotion leads us to know that God is Enough. It accepts honor and pain, and gives us peace.

On the bright side, our sweet daughter Nikita turns 21 on April 3rd, and we thank God for for the amazing gift and blessing she had been to the three of us. Our nephew came to surprise her, and it was a joy to have the extra help. There will never be a day without trial as long as we live, but we hang on to the promise that joy comes in the morning. To have joy in trials is not to deny pain. It is to recognize the fact that they can exist together. “You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep, my faith will stand!” Thanking you all from the bottom of our hearts, for your love, support and prayers.

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Raised by 652 people in 11 months
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