Remembering Ishan – Mayank and Sejal Gala
Mayank and Sejal Gala IBOs since 1993 | Emerald In 2008, Ishan Gala celebrated his second birthday in the hospital. The next day, his parents’ hearts were broken when doctors
told them, “There is nothing more we can do.” Eight short days later, their beloved little boy passed away.
Ishan’s battle started eight months earlier when he was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer most common in children under five. His parents, Mayank and Sejal, fought hard alongside him.
“After one week in Sloan-Kettering, I knew that helping these children fight cancer was what we were supposed to do with the rest of our lives,” Mayank said. “I think that everyone has a calling, they just have to figure out what it is.” During the long months of Ishan’s illness, Mayank was optimistic about the future, always imagining Ishan working with him, offering hope to other children with the disease.
But his optimism faded when they took Ishan home for the last time, as Mayank wrote in an essay about his son.
The hospital arranged for an ambulance …
I remember that ride home. We still believed with all of our heart that Ishan would be OK. We arrived home and it seemed like this wasn’t real. Just a short time ago, we were playing in his playroom, sitting reading a book, dancing to music, kicking the ball in the driveway, and now he was being brought in on a stretcher, connected to oxygen … Hospice was there. The medical supply company was there. I felt like it was chaos. I just wanted everyone to leave and for us to be a normal family. Ishan spent three days at home. You could tell he was tired. He kept pointing at different parts of the room as if there was an angel waiting to take him home. He was pulling at his tubes as if he was letting us know that he no longer needed them.
With Ishan’s death, the Galas’ desire to help other children with cancer only intensified. Just one month later, Mayank and Sejal established The Ishan Gala Foundation to support neuroblastoma research.
Throughout Ishan’s illness, the Galas were by his side. “We were able to spend every single day of the two years and nine days of Ishan’s life with him,” says Mayank. The Gala’s had worked hard in the years before their son’s illness to develop an AMWAY business that offered them the flexibility to order their priorities and focus on their son when they needed to.
Now, Mayank says, the business lets him pursue his new passion: fighting the disease that took Ishan. “I didn’t even know that kids got cancer until this happened to my son,” he says. “Now my idea of perfect happiness is to make sure that no parent ever hears what we heard … that nothing more can be done.”
Hope for Children
In 2009, The Ishan Gala Foundation hosted its first event and raised $40,000 toward a cure for neuroblastoma. Mayank is proud to report that 99% of the money raised by The Ishan Gala Foundation goes directly to research.
“We support the foundation out of our own pockets,” Mayank said. “We want it to remain an all-volunteer organization so the money raised goes to finding a cure.” He cites statistics to emphasize the need: 650 new cases of neuroblastoma every year; 46 children diagnosed with cancer every school day; every 16 hours, a child with neuroblastoma dies.
The Galas are grateful for the support of their parents, Kanti and Hemi Gala, and their IBO community. Mentors and personal friends, Pam and Larry Winters, are major supporters of the foundation. IBOs Matt Megel, Jamie Payton, and Anita Smith serve on the board. And many IBOs who heard Ishan’s story attended the fundraiser.
“It was amazing to see how everyone came together,” Mayank says. “Ishan’s legacy will live on. There is a cure and it will be found.”
The average monthly gross income earned by “active” IBOs was $115 (U.S.)/$181 (CAN.).
The percentage of IBOs who achieved Double Diamond and above qualification in FY08 was .0038%.
Based on an independent survey during 2001, approximately 66% of all IBOs of record were found to be active. “Active” means an IBO attempted to make a retail sale, or presented the Amway Independent Business Owner Compensation Plan, or received bonus money, or attended a company or IBO meeting in the year 2000.
“Gross Income” means the amount received from retail sales, minus the cost of goods sold, plus the amount of Performance Bonus retained. There may be significant business expenses, mostly discretionary, that may be greater in relation to income in the first years of operation. The success depicted may reflect income and investments outside the IBO Plan.