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Indian with Rare Disorder Reunited with Family

A 19-year-old Indian in British Columbia, suffering from an undiagnosed disorder and fighting to stay in Canada, has been finally reunited with his parents from his native Gujarat state after three years.//

"I just hugged them... and I cried," Dhaval Patel told The Leader newspaper after his parents landed at Vancouver airport last week.

Dhaval had come to Canada with his parents after doctors in Gujarat advised him to move after looking at his condition which causes his eyes to swell and rashes to develop on his body.

Arriving in Canada in 2000, father Ramesh Patel started an auto parts business to pay for his son's medical bills. Three years down the line, when Dhaval's condition began to improve, they all applied for Canadian citizenship. But their application was rejected.

While Dhaval could stay on because of his medical condition, his father was forced to return to India. Some time later, his mother Jyotsna also had to leave her then 16-year-old son and join her husband home following a family bereavement.

The parents were then stopped from re-entering Canada, leaving Dhaval all alone in this country.

"It has been hard," Dhaval told The Province newspaper "But I've had lots of help."

A senior Canadian citizen, Jerry Price, who had met the family a year before the senior Patels' return to India, had acted as Dhaval's legal guardian all this while.

He helped the teenager in getting his doctor's appointments and helped him though the medical system.

"I felt compassion for the family," Price told The Province.

"At that time, they thought Dhaval didn't have much time to live, but they knew that being in Canada was making him better. They didn't know how the Canadian system worked - they have no relatives in Canada - so I offered my assistance... it turned into a great friendship."

The Canadian man also did a radio show with the young In
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