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Afsoon Shahnawaz From Afghanistan Shares Her Bone Marrow Transplant Success Story With Dr. Vikas Dua in India

created on: 05/25/18

My name is Afsoon Shahnawaz from Afghanistan recently celebrated her 15th birthday, a milestone age, and is cancer free. A year ago, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Although this disease has a high cure rate, I immediately began chemotherapy at a San Jose hospital. His doctors hoped the treatment would kill off the defective white blood cells that are the hallmark of AML. My doctor hoped the treatment would kill off the defective white blood cells that are the hallmark of AML. But it soon became clear that chemotherapy alone wouldn't suffice. I was faced with a tough decision. A bone marrow transplant could save my life, but it would be excruciatingly painful. It would also require even more powerful chemotherapy drugs. My doctor told him that his only chance for a cure would be to undergo a bone marrow transplant (BMT), a highly advanced procedure accompanied by an intricate and long-term treatment regimen – care that I would have to travel outside my country to receive.

With that my parents started the search for the best and affordable bone marrow transplant surgeon and they came to know from a family friend that Indian surgeons are best in treating cancers, so their search took a turn towards India, and Google helped us to find Dr. Vikas Dua best paediatric hemato oncologist and bone marrow transplant specialist of the generation. His results in the field of paediatric haematology oncology and BMT have been the best. The best pediatric oncologist in India and his team has done 200+ paediatric transplants and is known for his excellent outcome in the stem cell transplant especially in paediatric haploidentical transplant. He has done some of the very rare transplants which nobody else has done in India. That is what my parents were looking in a bone marrow surgeon.  After that my doctor sent my medical file to, Dr. Vikas Dua. He arranged for my case to be rapidly transferred to Fortis Hospital, in New Delhi, India, and me and my parent to travel to New Delhi from Afghanistan.  We reached Delhi orienting to a new city away from home and settling down into our hotel. The very next morning, we went to Fortis Hospital to begin the initial investigations required prior to treatment – about 15 days in all. I can recount my treatment timeline with precision: On February 26th, I got admitted for the bone marrow transplant process and started chemotherapy.

When we met Dr. Vikas Dua he was enthusiastic when he explained the progression of carefully sequenced treatments. I was evaluated here for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT): a stem cell transplantation where my own healthy stem cells were collected and then infused after intensive chemotherapy, which killed my marrow completely, meaning any residual disease, is eradicated. Fortunately, I tolerated my treatment very well…even as I looked very frail, I recovered with minimum problems.

After 24 days in the BMT ward, I got discharged from the hospital without any complications following which I was monitored weekly by Dr. Vikas Dua with his I steadily grew stronger, and I received the news which i had dreamt of Dr. Vikas Dua told me that my disease is in control and my bone marrow is 95%-100% functional. I can go back home. One thing worth my sharing, I am celebrating my new lease on life, would not have been possible without Dr. Vikas Dua, the expert in management of my case made it possible for me I would never have received proper, timely treatment – much less have been fully cured.  Dr. Vikas Dua is a worldwide leader in realizing transparent, affordable, effective and innovative solutions to complex health challenges. Money was the major hurdle during my cancer treatment as I come from a very humble background from Afghanistan but it was because of Dr. Vikas Dua that I am completely fine today.

The full cycle is going back now to Afghanistan, I was looked after by my local physician back home in Afghanistan, and…I was in constant touch, with Dr. Vikas Dua for all possible future events regarding treatment. I’m so grateful for Dr. Vikas Dua took tremendous medical care during my stay in India. Thank u so much for everything!

Thanking You,

Afsoon Shahnawaz,Afghanistan



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