By: Krisha Gohil, Omkar Chavan
Published On: June 14, 2021
Ayaansh’s win over SMA is a living testament to the fact that miracles happen!
Right since the day Baby Ayaansh Gupta was born to Rupal and Yogesh he has been fighting to live against the world’s most deadly genetic disease - Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
SMA-type1 is a rare genetic disease caused due to a lack of an important protein in the child’s DNA. This fatal disease affects the muscles and nerves of the child and results in a complete loss of motor functions and multiple organ failures over time. With a mortality rate of 95% in children below 18 months, most SMA kids do not even live to see their second birthday!
While toddlers his age would run over to their parent’s arms freely, Ayaansh was bared down with machines and tubes. He couldn’t sit, walk, talk, run, eat or even sleep without BiPAP- a machine’s support! Always in the company of his friends, a BiPAP and the braces on his legs, 3 years old Ayaansh took all of it sportingly and never once did he throw a tantrum in his physiotherapy sessions and treatment procedure. The boy's intellect reflected in his bright eyes when he recited the Gayatri Mantra whenever asked.
However, for the unjust fate that Ayaansh was pushed against, there was an equally magical cure! ZOLGENSMA – the $2.1 million wonder drug holding the record of the world’s costliest drug. One dose of this ZOLGENSMA injected into the patient’s body can replicate the missing sister protein from their DNA and restore all the lost motor functions over time.
This life-saving drug had the power to save Ayaansh from the clutches of SMA once and for all, but it demanded Rs 16 crore in exchange within a month! ZOLGENSMA cannot be administered to children above the age of two, since Ayaansh’s case was special, his third birthday was the fateful day where he would win or lose the battle against SMA.
The Guptas were crestfallen upon hearing the amount and the urgency of the matter, even the richest of rich would hesitate upon hearing such a sum. There was no way that an Indian middle-class family would raise Rs 16 crore all alone. Giving up was not an option either, no parent can ever lose hopes of saving their only child. When his father got to know about Impact Guru and its successes with giving SMA patients the gift of life, they wasted no time in reaching out to us.
Within 119 days, Ayaansh’s story was shared 12k times on social media and moved the hearts of 62,467 donors worldwide! His fundraiser reached far and wide, across various newspapers like Economic Times, Times of India, etc. Even B-Town celebs like Ajay Devgan, Rajkumar Rao, Hiten Tejwani and others, joined his cause and urged thousands around the globe to do the same. Even ace cricketer and actor wife Anushka Sharma contributed.
Together all of us raised Rs 14.28+ crore and brought the boy his miracle drug. On June 9, 2021, at 9 AM in Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Ayaansh got his life-saving gene replacement therapy of ZOLGENSMA- the procedure went on for 2 hours.
“Thank you! Thank you so much to Impact Guru and all its donors, my wife and I will be forever indebted to all those who showered our boy with generosity. We don’t have words to do justice to the overwhelming support we have received from thousands of strangers around the globe. The entire team of Impact Guru has been ever supportive in lending us a helping hand and bringing our boy’s story to the world. The tax waiver my wife and I were tense about was also successfully completed owing to their help. Ayaansh will give back his thanks to all his well-wishers by growing up to be a bright boy. We send our sincerest blessings to you all.”
- Yogesh Gupta, Ayaansh’s dad
Thanks to your kindness, Ayaansh’s baby steps towards an SMA-free life have already begun. Your support makes us proud to be associated with such humane souls. On behalf of the Guptas, we thank you all for giving Ayaansh the gift of life on his third birthday. With your generosity, we are certain that more kids with SMA will get a new lease on life!