Rai Helped Launch an Age of Innovation in Leukemia

Cheryl Alkon
Published: Sunday, Aug 05, 2018
Kanti R. Rai, MD

Kanti R. Rai, MD

Her name was Laurie, she was 3 years old, and her love of life touched his heart. ”She was a bright, sprightly girl, walking with a hop, skip, and a jump,” recalled Kanti R. Rai, MD. “I saw this young couple who had been told 3 hours earlier that their daughter might have leukemia, and they walked slumped over, steps behind her.”

Above all, Rai said, he can’t imagine doing anything other than what he has already done in medicine. “I have lived long enough, and I should be grateful for the opportunities I have had,” he said. “I am truly a blessed person. I love what I do—it gives me a sense of purpose: doing something which is socially helpful and good.

Family Ties

For Rai, born and raised in Jodhpur, India, in the 1930s and ’40s, the desire to help young children was ingrained at an early age. One of 8 children living in an area “where the standard of living was low,” Rai said, he was raised by his father, an officer in the local government, and his mother, a homemaker devoted to her family. Love was plentiful even if money was not.
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