God Loves Those Who Die Young
Most people fall under one of the two categories: kind, compassionate and gentle people that speak from their heart; or intelligent, wise and pioneering thinkers that make decisions from their head. A very small group of people have both these qualities. They are rare and difficult to find. A Swami Vivekananda, or a Adi Shankara, or in more recent times, a Steve Jobs. When you find any such person, it is a privilege, an honor and a blessing to know them. Srinivasa Eravelli was one such individual. Calm, quiet, balanced, he was a man of few words but great deeds.
Srinivasa was an intelligent, hard working and awesome engineer; he was also a kind and compassionate man of faith. He was an innovative colleague, a caring father, a loving husband, a responsible son, a protective brother, a guiding coach and a true friend. He was a disciplinarian and brought discipline into everything he did – be it working in the R&D division at Qualcomm, teaching math to his sons, coaching students for Olympiads, Math counts, at middle school, training for marathons, growing vegetable patch in his backyard, or supporting his wife in her charity initiatives. The list goes on.
Srinivasa was passionate about everything he did, and always went beyond the call of duty. He did not know the meaning of mediocrity. His zeal was especially apparent when he did what he loved most: mathematics and computer science. He lived by it, he spent most of his time trying to solve mathematical puzzles…he even kept an “Ideas” book by his bedside and was known to jot down formulae and algorithms in the middle of the night! Ironically, life threw a tricky probability puzzle at him: the mathematical expectation that an individual such as him would contrive a rare form of terminal cancer that has no cure.
Srinivasa Eravelli was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma in June 2017, and he succumbed to it on September 26th, 2017. He was 48. This type of cancer usually manifests in the lungs. It is extremely rare for small cell carcinoma to occur outside of lung, that too among non-smokers. Where as most other cancers have a lead-time with various stages of development, small cell cancers have very short time span. Currently there is hardly any research to understand what triggers – is it the food habits?, environment?, pollution?, something else? No one knows. Most cancer research organizations are not focusing on this form of cancer because of its rare occurrence – fewer the incidents, lesser the awareness and therefore less research funding. But precisely because of its aggressive nature, there is an urgent need to understand the dynamics of this type of cancer. Therefore it is extremely important that we raise awareness, support research and find its triggers so that preventive actions can be taken even before its occurrence. On the care giving side, during Srinivasa’s treatment, the family came across a diverse group of other cancer patients that are in urgent need of help – monetary, care giving, support and other kinds. We as a society has not yet build enough support systems to deal with this very deadly disease which is becoming more prevalent by the day.
All his life, Srinivasa was a pathfinder. In every aspect of life he took that additional step that no one else dared to. He was calm, compassionate ‘cool’ man who never lost his temper or spoke an unkind word. He was hardworking and intelligent, and always willing to help others. He embraced the universal brotherhood in its true sense. A testimony to his greatness was the recently held memorial service at Qualcomm where the room was overflowing into the corridors with co-workers that wanted to pay their homage to their fallen colleague. There were several that had only heard of him and yet felt compelled to attend this service. There is a Hindu saying that the length of his funeral procession can only measure the greatness of a soul.
Srinivasa’s wife, Harini, has been conducting many charity events for last few years trying to bring cancer awareness to local communities. With tremendous support from Srinivasa, Harini was conducting monthly fund raising walks, food delivery programs and other awareness programs and support mechanisms. Their sons too have embraced these charity initiatives wholeheartedly.
In memory of Srinivasa, The Eravelli family has set up a cancer Research fund -Srinivasa Eravelli Memorial Fund through VTSEVA with a goal to raise 250k. Now is the time that we should all support him and his ideology by pledging monetarily for the research of this rare cancer, which can knock on anyone’s door. All the proceeds will go to Research institutions working on Small Cell Carcinoma.
All the donations are tax deductible (Tax Id: 80-0271287) and you can also apply for corporate matching. For further questions, please contact Shyla Rao: 662-312-9955 or Venkat Thudi: 847-749-5516.
We pray that Srinivasa will continue to be the beacon light. Thank you for your support.
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Srinivasa Eravelli Memorial Fund