For the past couple of months we’ve been struggling with intense sadness, brought by the shocking news that our very dear graduate student, and my lovely friend, Aritri was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive type of cancer. She had surgery on the day of her 30th Birthday, and the diagnosis came a few days later as a New Year sarcastic surprise, on January 1st. Her cancer, leiomyosarcoma, is pretty much unheard of in women in her age bracket, hitting those in their 50’s instead. Usually post-menopausal women. A very unlucky roll of the dice for our friend.
Aritri has been working daily on the bench right next to mine for the past 5 years. I taught her every technique of molecular biology I know, and she not only learned them all, but I must admit, she does them better and faster than her mentor. You want something tricky done as efficiently as possible? Give it to Aritri. She loves having a ton of stuff to do (I often think she pushes the envelope a little), and after lab meetings in which we go over what everyone is doing, she will often approach me with a very characteristic smile and ask “why don’t you let me do it for you?” She loves being busy, she loves earrings, colorful outfits, she loves to cook, to have fun, she loves to sing and does so beautifully – at a professional level, actually. She often performs at functions on campus.
Bottom line is, she is a special person in our lab in general and in my life in particular. I wish I had a magic wand to wave and make this nightmare go away from her life. So that she can go on to become a successful scientist, so that she can go on singing, and brightening up the world around her with her smile, her beauty, her sense of humor and sweetness. I don’t have a magic wand, but I do have this blog and I hope that you understand if I use it to at least try to help her deal with the financial burden of what she is going through.
To this end, I am setting up a GoFundMe campaign for her, and the link is here.
I should let you know that I will not keep track of who is donating or not, I don’t want to do that. Not everyone can donate, and that doesn’t mean a person does not care. I leave it up to you, if you can do it, we really appreciate it.
One final note: if you try to donate, the way gofund is set up, it makes you think there is no way to avoid including an extra tip. Just scroll to “OTHER” and fill the value with zero.
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