WASITRAC launches drive against cancer to support international students

At 25, most young men and women are trying to fulfill their dreams, but Arunabh has been fighting for his life against leukemia for the past four years. Arunabh is one of hundreds of thousands of international students that come to the United States each year, bringing with them much-needed revenue and talent to support higher education.

However, the United States health care system is not yet built to help the few students who require coverage for expensive treatments, such as that for cancer.

Despite the adversity he faces, Arunabh’s zest for life and keen interest in completing his education endures. Even while undergoing the cancer treatment process, he has completed three semesters of undergraduate studies and secured a scholarship.

Arunabh can still win his battle against cancer. His doctors at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance are optimistic about the outcomes and strongly believe that a transplant needs to be done as soon as possible, before his condition starts deteriorating again. If a transplant is delayed, he will have to go through chemotherapy once again.

The double cord blood transplant as prescribed by doctors at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will cost $972,000 and this amount is required to be deposited before the transplant process begins. Unfortunately, for the purpose of the transplant, his medical insurance will cover only $350,000.

In order to cover the rest of the cost, the Washington State–India Trade Relations Action Committee is launching a drive for donations.

“We hope to create more awareness about this issue,” said WASITRAC Co-chair Habib H. Habib. “Cancer may be very rare among the international students, but it is still there and the treatment is expensive. Students, who come from abroad, are not only brilliant, but can contribute a lot to this nation. The least our educational institutions should be able to do is ensure them with some kind of provision that would cover such eventuality.” (end)

For more information and to find out how you can help, visit www.wasitrac.org.

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