Erach Desai, a longtime analyst in the EDA and semiconductor community, is facing his worst nightmare. His 16-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, was diagnosed in November with stage IV osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
Jacqueline is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Some of Erach's friends in the EDA community are stepping in to help Erach and his family defray the incremental costs of Jacqueline's treatment and the missed income from having to devote time to her day-to-day care. On Thursday (May 27), a fundraiser will be held at EVE-USA Inc.'s headquarters in San Jose (2290 North First Street, Suite 304) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Magma Design Automation has generously offered to match any donation made by an EDA vendor up to $50,000. A website has also been established to accept donations on behalf of the Desai family.
I've always liked and admired Erach. I had a chance to speak with him on Tuesday and he explained how treatment in the case of osteosarcoma is especially arduous (though he emphasized he realizes that treatment of all cancer is trying). But Erach and his family are feeling optimistic about the prospects for treatment (including several long surgeries) and Jacqui's recovery.
After several weeks of exploring some pretty bleak treatment options, the Desais got some better news in April, when they found a doctor who shared their philosophy that Jacqui's treatment should not only focus on removing the cancer but also preserving her quality of life afterward. They are taking this path now.
One thing that Erach stressed to me was that he and his wife had a very hard time coming to terms with asking the help of their friends and the community at large. Erach stated his intentions to "pay forward" 100 percent of the donations received for Jacqui's care, over time, in the form of donations to places like Dana-Farber, so that the Desais can in some way repay the generosity of those coming to their aid.
Erach also told me that he has been touched and inspired by the outpouring of well wishers and support. He was particularly inspired by an email sent to him by Joe Costello, a former CEO at Cadence Design Systems and a legend in the EDA community. Among other things, Costello shared a story about a technical guy he knows who shocked his doctors by quickly recovering from three cancers in the past five years, including what was described as a rare and extremely aggressive non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Costello advised Erach to devote his full attention to Jacqui's care, acting as the project manager and staying on top of the doctors and medical system.
That's what Erach has been doing ever since. He could use our help.