Ropes & Gray has raised over £50,500 for a childhood cancer charity in memory of a partner's six-year-old daughter.
Ruchit Patel's daughter, Kaiya, passed away in January this year having been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2018. In honour of Kaiya, the firm set up a fundraising scheme to donate £80 to Childhood Cancer Research for every lawyer who reached a 20-hour pro bono goal by the end of June. Over 600 lawyers at the firm achieved the target.
"Kaiya told us so many times after she got sick that she wanted to dedicate her life to helping other cancer sufferers," Ruchit Patel said of his daughter. "She can’t do that in her physical form anymore, but I am certain that she looks down delighted that she galvanized this effort.”
Kaiya had undergone chemotherapy last year and received a bone marrow transplant after an appeal by the family. But she contracted a virus and passed away on 13 January 2019.
"I am so pleased that our firm’s donation will continue work inspired by Kaiya and go toward funding childhood cancer research to help other children and families facing this disease" said Ropes & Gray managing partner David Chapin. "I am also extremely proud of the work so many of our lawyers did to meet this pro bono challenge.”
Children with Cancer UK CEO Mark Brider said that the charity was "deeply saddened to hear of Kaiya's death" and "was incredibly grateful to receive this generous in-memory donation." He added "This legacy, in Kaiya's name, will enable us to continue to invest funds into vital lifesaving research which looks at causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer".
The Patels have a Facebook page for Kaiya where people share posts about fundraising.