Rushi Gandhi needed a bone marrow match, and once Dr. Ketan Bakriwali found out he could help, the California man stepped up to save the 10-year-old’s life.
SUGAR LAND, Texas — On Sunday, an 11-year-old Houston boy met the man who saved his life.
Rushi Gandhi’s family was brought to tears and overwhelmed with emotion when they met Dr. Ketan Bakriwali. It was a moment they said they’ll remember forever.
“You’re my hero,” Nilima Gandhi said.
Nilima said her son Rushi was born with a rare blood disease and had been waiting his whole life for a bone marrow match. It prohibited him from doing a lot of the things kids his age like to do.
“He couldn’t play around with little kids. Like, how kids like to run around and play sports,” Nilima said.
Rushi was a normal child with an abnormal childhood.
“It took so many years to find a matching donor,” Nilima said.
After Rushi turned 10, his family got the call they had spent their whole life waiting for.
“They finally found a match for Rushi,” Nilima said. “It’s a miracle.”
The match was a man in California who was surfing the internet and saw an advertisement for Be The Match, which is a service that tests your bone marrow to see if it could help save a life.
Bakriwali said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help save Rushi’s life.
“It said to take the opportunity to perhaps save someone’s life,” he said. “30 million … and one matched.”
After millions of donors didn’t match Rushi, Bakriwali did. In Sugar Land on Sunday, the two families that are forever connected had a special message for anyone who sees their story:
“You could be that person that the recipient is waiting for, so please go out there and register. We waited 10 years, but it took one week for my son to match that donor. So please, just like my son there are a lot of kids that are waiting,” Nilima said.