Foundation system

The Ishan Gala Foundation turns tragedy into support for others –

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — A local organization is working to create something positive for the community following a family tragedy.

The Ishan Gala Foundation aims to improve the quality of life of children battling cancer and their families.

In 2008, Mayank and Sejal Gala lost their son after an eight-month battle with neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that usually forms in certain early forms of nerve cells.

Since then, the foundation has provided support across the country in the form of financial support, emotional support resources, and research funding in search of less toxic treatments.

The Galas know their son’s legacy will live on while helping others, which they have now done for many families who have found themselves in similar situations.

“The strengths that my wife and I have developed, just by sharing our story and seeing how we can make a difference for others,” Mayank said.

Beginning in 2016, the foundation shifted to focus solely on directly supporting families living in Virginia with the new University of Virginia Health System Battle Building.

Over the next few years, IGF officials learned more about the childhood cancer community and its needs to help the foundation develop other assistance programs.

This includes a financial assistance program, the Extra Mile program and the Holiday Cheer program.