David Law – Fighting for his daughter’s life with a little help from his Pilam friends

David Law ’04 (UC Berkeley) and his wife, Veena, are faced with something no parent should be. They’re in a fight to save their 3 year-old daughter’s life.

Both David and his wife are physicians. As a pediatrician, Veena knew pretty early that something was amiss with their daughter, Violet. The prognosis was GM1 Gangliosidosis, a neurologically debilitating disease which is fatal in children.

The Laws found that there were few options available for them beyond limited clinical trials. The Long Beach Post shared the story of their struggle.

David said, “When you get a diagnosis like this, you just walk around in a haze for a while. But my brothers have really helped me through it. They’ve been the strong backbone that I needed.”

Pilam Brothers rallied to his support

David’s Cal Tau brothers reached out, and many offered more than words of support as the family tried to cope with the overwhelming news.

David said, “Brother Ajay Kshatriya ’99 organized meals for my family, and helped us navigate the biopharmaceutical world.” 

Many others visited David and spent time with his family, doting on his daughter, Violet. 

David said, “I was afraid we’d be isolated after learning the situation we faced, but even guys who I never met were offering their support. The brothers have been so helpful and welcoming. I feel very blessed.”

New avenues for help presented themselves

At 100th anniversary of the Berkeley chapter, where David spoke about his daughter, by chance he met Dr. Brian Tseng, a renown physician who, unbeknownst to him, specialized in pediatric rare diseases. 

David wondered, “Here’s a brother who lived in our house and took the same pledge as I did. Was this a coincidence? Or a destiny that makes us brothers?”

Bing Yune Chen ’04, also offered his years of healthcare experience to help David navigate the non-profit pharmaceutical world. He joined the board of the Cure GM1 Foundation

Supporting the cause

A music festival in Los Angeles called “A Cure for Violet,” organized by Brother Ronnie Exley ’04, raised thousands of dollars through concert performances and merchandise sales.

The Laws started a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of reaching $25,000 to help fund medical research. In just a few weeks, the campaign skyrocketed and raised over $100,000, thanks in part to many donations by his Pilam brothers.

David said, “In all this tumult, I have found the strength and support of my brothers invaluable and I attribute their help with heartening my life and advancing our cause.”

What’s ahead?

Though there is much research and work to be done, Violet is doing well and is on an experimental medication that is stabilizing her condition. 

Due to advocacy and fundraising from the Cure CM1 Foundation, Violet has been included in clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies. 

To support the cause and keep track of progress, like the Facebook page, A Cure for Violet.