Leukemia put her life ‘on hold,’ but that didn’t stop Ontario woman from recruiting bone-marrow donors

Published: June 12, 2014


Picture 1 of 5

Moneet Mann. 25, of Brampton, Ontario was diagnosed with leukemia last fall. She is being readmitted to hospital on Friday for her bone marrow transplant. Submitted photo.

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Moneet Mann, a vibrant 25-year-old aspiring teacher, has been forced to put her life “on hold” since she was diagnosed with leukemia eight months ago.

The Brampton, Ont., native was fast-tracking her studies at Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University when her symptoms started to surface late last year.

She grew too tired for her weekly routine that juggled a full-time course load, two jobs, the gym, volleyball, softball and, of course, time with friends.

By October she noticed blurred vision and bruising and wasn’t able to make it up even a single flight of stairs to her third-floor apartment.

She finally went to an emergency room and was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

“The last eight months have been difficult,” Mann told Vancouver Desi from her family’s Brampton home,  where she’s returned since her diagnosis.

“I’m just kind of at a standstill … everything is basically on hold.”

But she’ll be one step closer to recovery on Friday, when she’s due to be readmitted to hospital for a long-awaited bone-marrow transplant.

Finding a donor was one of her biggest challenges. With no matches in her family, she was placed on a cross-Canada waiting list of more than 800 people.

Her most likely match is someone from her own ethnic background, but of the 342,000 Canadians on the donor registry, only four per cent are South Asian.

Mann launched her Will You Marrow Me? campaign in January as a way to raise awareness in the community. Since its inception it has received more than 5,400 likes on Facebook and held swabbing events (to get people on the registry) across the country — reaching as far as Surrey in March.

Now, as Mann gears up to receive her transplant, she plans to continue the campaign.

“I just want to help anybody I possibly can, because someone is saving my life,” said Mann.

“There’s so many other patients waiting for their transplant, a lot of people that are from ethnic communities and they don’t want to go out there and ask for help … they’re embarrassed, they’re shy.

“I was able to come out of my shell and just embrace myself for the way I looked and everything — hair or no hair — and if I can just do this, not just for myself, but if I can actually help some of the other patients that are waiting around the world to find their transplant, why would I stop?”

According to Jillian Adler with Canadian Blood Services, it’s because of community groups like Mann’s that the Canadian registry has been able to increase its diversity by nearly 15 per cent in the last five years.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Adler. “It’s because of the focus that we’ve placed on diverse recruitment.”

And that focus needs to continue, mainly with education and awareness.

“Education is an important component and in many communities that needs to come first,” said Adler.

According to Adler, the ideal donors are men under the age of 35.

For more information on how to register visit onematch.ca. To follow Mann’s journey visit facebook.com/WillYouMarrowMe.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

THE NUMBERS:

Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Registry is made up of 342,000 Canadians, of whom:

- 71 per cent are Caucasian

- Seven per cent are Chinese

- Four per cent are South Asian

- One per cent are East Indian

- One per cent are African Canadian

- One per cent are Southeast Asian

- One per cent are Aboriginal

- As of April, 178 people are on the waiting list in B.C. and 564 in Ontario.

Related stories:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »

Amanda Todd is shown in an undated handout photo. The man accused in the cyberbullying case of British Columbia teen Amanda Todd has denied the allegations against him in a letter released by his lawyer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Facebook, HO

‘First off, I’m innocent’: Dutch man accused in Amanda Todd extortion case writes open letter saying he’s the wrong guy

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI The Dutch man suspected of online extortion in the Amanda Todd case has released a letter from jail, to tell the…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children.  ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Supreme Court bans online advertisements for pre-birth sex tests

VANCOUVER DESI India’s Supreme Court has ordered Internet giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to block all advertisements for pre-birth tests that determine a child’s gender,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Amanda Todd is shown in an undated handout photo. The man accused in the cyberbullying case of British Columbia teen Amanda Todd has denied the allegations against him in a letter released by his lawyer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Facebook, HO

‘First off, I’m innocent’: Dutch man accused in Amanda Todd extortion case writes open letter saying he’s the wrong guy

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI The Dutch man suspected of online extortion in the Amanda Todd case has released a letter from jail, to tell the…
Continue Reading »

sethi

American Punjabi rapper feels at home in Vancouver

Collaborative hip hop and artistic group Char Bagh set to play the PuSh Festival on Saturday   LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI California-based MC and artist…
Continue Reading »

Al Paskall, husband of slain hockey mom Julie Paskall, was in Surrey Provincial court today during day one of her accused killer's preliminary hearing. Gord Goble/Surrey Now.

‘I wasn’t there when I should’ve been,’ husband of slain Surrey hockey mom says in court

AMY REID SURREY NOW “It should have been me.” More than a year after his high school sweetheart Julie Paskall lost her life following an…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Bollywood film that was to shoot in Alberta ‘indefinitely postponed’

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD Don’t brush up your Bollywood dance moves yet, Alberta. Shivay, a Hindi film that was set to start filming in the Rocky Mountains…
Continue Reading »

File photo: The new Surrey City Hall in Surrey, B.C., December 29, 2014. Arlen Redekop/PNG

Surrey named one of top seven most intelligent communities in the world

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — The City of Surrey has been named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 by New York-based think…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A leopard walks with a tranquiliser dart in the residential area of Jyotikuchi in Guwahati, the capital city of the northeastern state of Assam on March 15, 2009. Three people were mauled by the leopard after the cat strayed into the city before it was tranquilised by forestry department officials. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images

Leopard in India beaten to death by villagers after vicious attack

IANS Kolkata  – A young male leopard was beaten to death by a mob of angry villagers on Monday after it strayed into a West…
Continue Reading »

prv0122Nfashion01

Passion for fashion turned into day job for Surrey clothing designer

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey’s Davi Bains-Gill never thought her love for fashion and design could be her livelihood. She pursued a career in social…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood movie

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan rules out Hollywood

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan doesn’t foresee a transition to Hollywood, according to SkyNews. Although Bachchan recently appeared alongside Hollywood’s Leonardo DiCaprio in The…
Continue Reading »

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »

Sunny Leone posts a photo of her family vacation to her Instagram account. Submitted photo/Instagram.

Sunny Leone signed on to mentor participants of new social media reality show

HINDUSTAN TIMES Listed as India’s most-searched celebrity last year, the Internet has certainly played a crucial role in Indo Canadian porn star turned Bollywood actress…
Continue Reading »