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

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Surrey

Surrey’s YouTube prankster Ace journey on a roll (w/video)

KRISTI ALEXANDRA SURREY NOW SURREY — If you were recently chased through Bear Creek Park by a Sasquatch, chances are you were part of a…
Continue Reading »

SURREY CRASH-DESI-TRUCK DRIVER

Surrey truck driver sued in crash that killed on-duty Mountie

ADRIAN MCNAIR SURREY NOW VANCOUVER — Canada’s attorney general is suing the driver of a semi-trailer involved in a head-on collision that killed an on-duty…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Surrey

Surrey’s YouTube prankster Ace journey on a roll (w/video)

KRISTI ALEXANDRA SURREY NOW SURREY — If you were recently chased through Bear Creek Park by a Sasquatch, chances are you were part of a…
Continue Reading »

SURREY CRASH-DESI-TRUCK DRIVER

Surrey truck driver sued in crash that killed on-duty Mountie

ADRIAN MCNAIR SURREY NOW VANCOUVER — Canada’s attorney general is suing the driver of a semi-trailer involved in a head-on collision that killed an on-duty…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

politics

After 800 years, a proud Hindu ruling Delhi: Singhal

IANS New Delhi – The World Hindu Congress Friday saw exhortations on the potential of “Bharat” to provide “direction” to the world with VHP leader…
Continue Reading »

desi victim

Victim of ski accident to open spinal-cord recovery centre in Richmond (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Dhruv Kapoor realized he was in deep trouble as he barrelled down a ski run in Russell, Man., on an icy…
Continue Reading »

op-ed

Aziza Sindhu: How do you grieve for a tyrant father?

AZIZA SINDHU CALGARY HERALD My father, Salim M. Sindhu, passed away on Nov. 10. As a child, I wished he smiled at me, as a…
Continue Reading »

India

Honour Killing: Delhi girl killed by parents for marrying her boyfriend

HINDUSTAN TIMES Three days after marrying her boyfriend in a temple, a 21-year-old Delhi University student was murdered and secretly cremated by her parents for…
Continue Reading »

violence against women

SFU grad bringing local attention to issue of violence against women in India (w/ gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After spending more than a year researching violence against women in India as part of her U.K. Master’s degree program, Surrey’s…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

desi-sex-bollywood-bhabhi

Venus Williams dances on a Bollywood number in India (w/gallery, video)

CEN AGENCY Former world number one tennis player Venus Williams, 34, took the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream by dancing to a Bollywood number…
Continue Reading »

Arnold Schwarzenegger

When the two A’s met: Aamir Khan starstruck on meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger

HINDUSTAN TIMES Aamir Khan met Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday, and went all fanboy on him. No, seriously. It was one of the highlights (albeit unplanned)…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Bollywood’s Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone speak on changes in Indian cinema with Karan Johar

IANS New Delhi – Actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone along with filmmaker Karan Johar descended here Friday to speak about the changes in Indian…
Continue Reading »