University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

Viva Ayvar

Dealing with a family emergency

When his phone rang that fateful morning, Viva Ayvar had no idea that his world was about to change. On the other line was his mother, calling from India with the unfortunate news that Viva’s father had suffered a stroke and was in critical condition. “She sat me down over the phone and let me know what happened,” said Viva. “It kind of felt like my world just crashed on me.”

Care in a crisis

Viva wanted to act immediately, but one major obstacle stood in his way – he had no way to get back home to be there for his father, and comfort his mother. “It was really hard being about 8,000 miles away and hearing this when I wasn’t there to do anything.”

Providing support. Finding solutions.

“Never had I imagined I would actually be needing help.”

Viva acted quickly, visiting our offices to see how we could help. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, we connected Viva with our emergency assistance program, which provides financial support to students who experience a sudden change of circumstances. In Viva’s case, the fund’s review committee was able to expedite the approval process. “They were the most supportive people to me at that time – both emotionally and helping to resolve my issue,” noted Viva.

Within 24 hours of receiving the phone call from his mother, Viva was on a plane back to India. He was able to stay in India for nine days, supporting his mother and encouraging his father through the recovery process. Upon his return to Buffalo, Viva was grateful to find that our office had also notified his professors about the circumstances regarding his absence. “The faculty was more than supportive,” said Viva. “They told me,  ‘First things first.’”

"It meant the world to me."

Thankfully, Viva’s father made a full recovery. Now that the experience is behind him, Viva has found his bond with UB stronger than ever. Though he never expected to need assistance, he is extremely grateful for the generosity of donors who made his trip possible. “The Student First Fund can truly make a difference in someone’s life – not just when things are good, but when things are at their worst.”