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Lisa Ray to undergo stem cell transplant

Actress Lisa Ray will undergo a stem cell transplant to treat her multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer. The 37-year-old star was diagnosed with the cancer of the bone marrow in June.

entertainment Updated: Nov 19, 2009 19:08 IST

Lisa RayIndo-Canadian actress Lisa Ray will undergo a stem cell transplant to treat her multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer.

The 37-year-old star was diagnosed with the cancer of the bone marrow in June and has been undergoing chemotherapy since July.

Toronto-born Lisa made this announcement on Tuesday while visiting the Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School where her film Water, directed by Deepa Mehta, was screened.

Ray, who was born to a Polish mother and Bengali father, said the process for a stem cell transplant would begin next week in a city hospital.

The procedure would begin by releasing her own stem cells into her blood, then collecting them and later freezing them, she said.

Calling it a "reboot" of her system, she said the process would take up to two weeks to complete. After this, she would put on a waiting list for a stem cell transplant.

"Healing isn't just about the physical procedures. You need to be emotionally and spiritually and psychologically in the right frame of mind..." She said she was taking a break from acting to complete the treatment.

Multiple myeloma destroys the red blood cells in the body. With advancement in treatment, a multiple myeloma patient can now live up to 20 years.

Ray, who lives in the Etobicoke suburb of the city, has been sharing her experiences on a blog called The Yellow Diaries.

Ray recently appeared at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) gala of her film Cooking with Stella, directed by Deepa Mehta.

Shot mostly in the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, the film is a hilarious comedy featuring Ray as the wife of a Canadian diplomat (played by Don McKellar) posted in New Delhi.

Seema Biswas plays the role of the wily cook Stella who tries to fool her Canadian masters.