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I'd like to preface this lengthy call to action by saying that this 51 mile bike ride fundraiser for the ALS Association is in honor of my dad, Dr. Rajvir Singh Jhooty, who passed away on 11/4/20 after a 14 year battle with ALS.
A Call to Action:
I’m going to start off with a quote: “I am in a situation where I am likely to lose my battle but hoping to eventually win the war against this disease.”
Hi, my name is Sartaj Jhooty, and I am Rajvir Jhooty’s son. It pains me to say that I know there’s nothing I can do to bring my dad back to this physical world. He has already relented in his battle against ALS and moved on to God’s kingdom, and won’t be here to witness the increased funding and revel in the subsequent future discoveries of ALS research. I understand that, yet still, I feel a burning desire—a calling you could say—to embark on this fundraiser.
Because every 90 minutes, a person in the US is diagnosed with ALS—every 90 minutes, another person passes away from it. And furthermore, because it’s what my dad would have wanted: the quote above is a quote from my dad.
In 2012, having lived with ALS for the past 6 years, my dad used his Eye Gaze computer to write a letter to former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly. It was through this letter that my dad seeked guidance in organizing a fundraising tour, in which he had hoped to visit Buffalo, Atlanta, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Unfortunately, my dad didn’t receive a response, and the fundraising tour never materialized. But even though nothing came from it then, that letter was not written for naught. It can’t be. We won’t let it be. That unselfish, beautiful, poignant line from the letter will serve as the source of the endless fuel of motivation for Team Rajvir. Once more:
“I am in a situation where I am likely to lose my battle but hoping to eventually win the war against this disease.”
To clarify, I don’t think my dad lost his battle. If he did, we may have to change the definition of lose in the dictionary. He touched the lives of all who knew him and had a profound impact on more people in 49 years on this Earth than most do in double that time. Especially family. His love for family and immeasurable presence in our family despite being bed bound simply can not be overstated. His love is eternal, and is still felt to this day; I can certainly attest to that.
However, the battle my dad seemed to be referring to was the physical one, to the “eventual fatal outcome of the disease”, and it pains me to admit that he was in fact right about that. However, the second half of the quote—his greater-than-self dream, his vision—is still within reach, and he and I need your support to get one step closer to attaining it. My dad knew how physically and mentally draining ALS is, and he did not want any other human being to be subject to the pain and struggle he endured from this disease throughout the majority of his adult life.
I have pledged to bike 51 miles at Mt. Angel on July 17th, 2021 for ALS fundraising. I am excited to continue training for this monumental event but I can not do it alone. We (Team Rajvir) can not do it alone. We need your help in the form of donations to continue to rise above our initial goal of $10,000 and provide ever so valuable resources to the ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter.
In addition to donating, do you want to join Team Rajvir and bike with me at Mt. Angel on Saturday, July 17th? We’d love to have you on the team! You can join Team Rajvir by registering today (reach out to me if you are unsure how to do this) and fundraising for the ALS Association.
A Final Call to Action:
There’s strength in numbers, and we’re going to need to all come together to collectively beat this disease. I pray that one day, no one has to hear a death sentence being handed to them in the form of an ALS diagnosis ever again. While it can be tempting to look ahead, that day will not come unless we ground ourselves in the present and do all we can with the given set of circumstances to move one step closer to a day with a cure for ALS. I thank you sincerely for your potential support, and I know for a fact that my dad, along with every other person who’s had to face this unforgiving disease, is certainly grateful as well.