Published: Oct 10, 2019
In 2012, Jaydev Patel was diagnosed with T-cell Leukemia and Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). At only fifteen, Jaydev faced his cancer diagnosis bravely and traveled from New Jersey with his family to Delaware’s Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children for treatment. After treatment was complete, Jaydev was proud to call himself a survivor. That was the first time Jaydev beat cancer.
In 2019, Jaydev learned that he had cancer for a second time. This time, it was Hodgkins’ Lymphoma.
The Patel family again sought treatment at Nemours. But since his first diagnosis, his parents had moved to Texas for work, and Jaydev was living at the dorms in college at the New Jersey Instititue of Technology in Newark, New Jersey. He was two hours away from the medical care he needed in Delaware. This is when the Patel family learned about the Ronald McDonald House from a Social Worker at the hospital.
Jaydev’s family traveled from Texas to be with him during parts of his treatment, and in total the Patel family spent 208 nights at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.
For Jaydev, staying at the House meant that he could be close to his family during treatment. “It allowed my mom to cook fresh food for me,” Jaydev told us, noting that the comforting home-cooked meals helped him heal. He also shared that “staying here meant security and one less thing to worry about.”
As a college senior, Jaydev already had plenty to worry about even before his diagnosis. After receiving permission from his professors, he was allowed to complete schoolwork remotely to finish his final five classes. He finished his last semester working from the Ronald McDonald House, and even worked from a hospital bed when he was admitted for inpatient care, “I even pulled a few all-nighters finishing projects, just like any other college kid.”
In May, Jaydev graduated from college, and celebrated. He shared a fond memory of coming back to the Ronald McDonald House after graduation to find a party had been set up for him, including a scroll that had been signed by the staff and volunteers congratulating him on his achievement.
Jaydev said that in addition to staying at a place that allowed him to be close to the hospital and his family while completing cancer treatment and college, he loved meeting new people at the House. “I never thought I would be making new friends here,” he said, sharing his excitement at making new friends with other guest families, staff, volunteers, and nurses.
Now that he has graduated, Jaydev is looking forward to moving to Texas, getting a job (hopefully in software development), and, in his own words “LIVING LIFE!”
On October 9, Jaydev was thrilled to ring our Good News Bell accompanied by his older sister Tithi. He shared that he officially beat cancer for a second time and was cleared to go home! Jaydev and Tithi checked out of the Ronald McDonald House the same day and began driving home to be with their family in Texas.
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