‘We’ve seen humanity,’: Singapore dad on global support for toddler’s treatment

More than 20,000 have donated millions, father says
More than 20,000 have donated millions, father says

The father of a 2-year-old with a rare genetic disease said he’s been overwhelmed by the immense support that’s raised millions for his son’s treatment.

Dave Devaraj, 33, told Coconuts last night that tens of thousands of donors worldwide have opened their hearts and wallets to pay for costly gene therapy for his son’s spinal muscular atrophy.

“We never expected more than 20,000 people participating in this donation drive,” said Devaraj, a ministry of defense civil servant. “We’ve seen humanity in Singaporeans and even people from abroad. This community spirit is truly touching and everyone had Devdan’s best intentions in mind.”

As of this morning, the campaign has exceeded S$2.3 million (US$1.7 million), over 80% of its goal in just over a week. Twenty more days are left to help the toddler, Devdan Devaraj, afford Zolgensma, a one-time gene therapy treatment that will prevent his muscles from weakening and affecting his ability to breathe, speak, swallow, and walk.

Dave Devaraj said he is “immensely grateful” for the secondary fundraisers launched by local businesses such as bakeries and art studios, from which all donations will go to treat the boy.

He is confident that the campaign will reach its goal with continued support from the public.

“We can’t wait for the day when we can purchase the treatment for Devdan, with the help of everyone near and far,” he said.

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Singapore opens hearts, wallets for boy with rare genetic disease

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