The actress also registered as a stem cell donor with DKMS BMST Foundation India
NEW DELHI: In a moving course of events, a one-of-its-kind book named “Mandeep Meets Mandeep” was launched in New Delhi in the presence of renowned Bollywood actress and author Tisca Chopra. The book is non-fiction and based on a real-life story about a patient named Mandeep who won his battle against blood cancer when his namesake Mandeep came forward as the perfect match for a stem cell transplant.
The book “Mandeep Meets Mandeep,” which is authored by Dr. Sona Sharma, a medical professional and writer, is based on true events that unfold a remarkable tale of two lives, both named Mandeep, intertwined by fate and a shared HLA-type. Mandeep, a blood cancer survivor and 35-year-old farmer from Punjab, was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in 2009. Unfortunately, though Mandeep was advised for a stem cell transplant, he could not find a Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matched stem cell donor within his family. Mandeep had to wait for over 3 years before an HLA-matching unrelated donor was identified with the help of DKMS BMST Foundation India, and he underwent a stem cell transplant in January 2020. Despite diverse backgrounds, their unique genetic match offered a chance at survival. The story weaves through sacrifice, community support, and the delicate balance of life, connecting two individuals destined for an extraordinary encounter.
Patrick Paul, CEO, of DKMS-BMST Foundation India, said, “Facilitating life-changing connections is at the heart of our mission at DKMS-BMST. Witnessing Mandeep Singh’s journey, from the desperate search for a donor to the emotional meeting with Mandeep Mann, reinforces our commitment. Every successful transplant is a testament to the impact of collective generosity. We stand proud, connecting heroes like Mandeep Singh and Mandeep Mann, highlighting the profound ripple effect of selfless acts and the hope for second chances.”
As the distinguished chief guest, Tisca Chopra, expressed, “Learning about this inspiring story deeply touched my heart. In India, numerous patients await lifesaving stem cell transplants, yet the shortage of registered donors poses a significant challenge. Today, I’ve personally taken a 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.“
Blood cancer survivor Mandeep Singh, who was also present at the event, said, “At first, I felt helpless facing cancer’s grip. The journey to find a match was daunting, like searching for a needle in a haystack. Finally, the incredible moment arrived when I found my donor, Mandeep Mann, through the DKMS-BMST database. His selfless stem cell donation granted me a new life, and meeting him was an indescribable joy, a profound gratitude that words can’t capture. I am extremely thankful to DKMS-BMST for making this journey possible for me.”
“Being a stem cell donor has given me a sense of great pride. My motivation stemmed from empathy and a desire to make a difference. Juggling a demanding career and caring for my wife, who is battling cancer, was challenging. Yet, donating stem cells felt like destiny. Meeting him was a surreal experience, bridging two worlds through a shared name and genetic bond. It’s a profound reminder of the power of compassion and the interconnectedness of lives,” said Mandeep Mann as he shared his lifesaving experience as a stem cell donor.
Every five minutes, a new case of blood cancer or a blood disorder, such as Thalassemia or Aplastic Anemia, emerges in India. The scarcity of matching blood stem cell donors poses a significant hurdle for patients in dire need of lifesaving transplants. In collaboration with these initiatives, DKMS-BMST aims to raise awareness about blood stem cell donation and register potential lifesavers across diverse segments of society.
Over 41 million potential unrelated donors are listed globally with stem cell donor centers and registries, but only 0.6 million are Indians. More potential blood stem cell donors should register from India to address this gap. Registration is a quick 5-minute process. If you’re between 18 and 55 years old and in generally good health, take the initial step to register as a blood stem cell donor by requesting your home swab kit at www.dkms-bmst.org/register.