(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Actress-author Tisca Chopra on Tuesday unveiled a book that narrates the heart-warming life journey of a blood cancer survivor. And she said it has inspired her to register as a stem cell donor.
'Mandeep Meets Mandeep' (AuthorsUpFront), authored by Dr Sona Sharma, is based on the real-life story of a patient named Mandeep Singh, who won his battle against blood cancer when his namesake, Mandeep Mann, came forward to provide the perfect match for a stem cell transplant.
Mandeep (35), a farmer from Punjab, was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in 2009. Though he was advised a stem cell transplant, he could not find a Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-matched stem cell donor within his immediate family.
After an agonising wait of more than three years, an HLA-matching unrelated donor was identified for Mandeep by a Bengaluru-based NGO, DKMSxBMST India, which specialises in making these matches.
Mandeep underwent a stem cell transplant in January 2020 and despite being from a very different background than the donor, their unique genetic match offered him the best chance of survival.
The narratives weaves through the themes of sacrifice, community support and the delicate balance of life connecting two individuals destined for an extraordinary encounter.
"In India, numerous patients await life-saving stem cell transplants, yet the shortage of registered donors poses a significant challenge," Tisca Chopra said at the book launch on Tuesday.
"Today, I have personally taken the vital step to register as a potential stem cell donor, and I encourage others to join this noble cause. Your contribution can bring hope to countless individuals grappling with life-threatening diseases," Chopra added.
Mandeep Singh, who was present at the event, said the journey to find a match was daunting. It was like searching for a needle in a haystack.
"The incredible moment arrived when I found my donor through the DKMS-BMST database," Mandeep recalled. "His selfless stem cell donation granted me a new life, and meeting him was a moment of indescribable joy. Words cannot express the profound gratitude I have for him," he said.
Mandeep Mann said that being a stem cell donor has given him a sense of great pride.
"Juggling a demanding career and caring for my wife, who is battling cancer, was challenging," Mann said.
"Yet, donating stem cells felt like destiny," he continued. "Meeting Mandeep Singh was a surreal experience, bridging two worlds through a shared name and a genetic bond. It was a profound reminder of the power of compassion and interconnectedness of lives."
As per reports, a new case of blood cancer or a blood disorder, such as Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia, comes to light every five minutes in India. The scarcity of matching blood stem cell donors poses a significant hurdle for patients in dire need of lifesaving transplants.
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