Negotiating with Cancer: Insights from our Community Members

Sanjay Deshpande & Samira Daswani
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About this masterclass

Insights on cancer care and support as a young working professional

Nuances of creativity and inspiration in moments of darkness

Creating a cancer support community for South Asians

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Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjay is a Learning Designer who currently leads L&D at Pride Circle. He has previously worked as a part of the Founding Team of Harappa Education and the skilling team of NASSCOM Foundation. He is passionate about mental health, queer rights and cancer advocacy.

He got diagnosed with incurable brain cancer at the age of 29 the day he landed on Harvard University's campus to start his Master’s program in September 2021. He's currently leading an effort to write & publish a first-of-its-kind book on Adulting with Cancer called ‘Don’t Ask Me How I’m Doing: Life, Death and Everything in Between’ -- to chronicle the experiences, raise awareness and create a resource for Indian and South Asian young adult cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

He is an incoming graduate student at Harvard University, a postgraduate of the Young India Fellowship program at Ashoka University, and a Valedictorian and Student of the Year from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. 

Samira Daswani

Samira is an AYA cancer survivor who founded Manta Cares based on her personal experiences from cancer. Manta Cares is a global community of caregivers and survivors dedicated to making the cancer experience just a little easier. 

In her non-survivor life, she is a healthcare strategy and design expert. She's led product design and management teams in the medical diagnostics industry, incubated and launched numerous healthcare startups. She started her career at McKinsey & Company. She has degrees from MIT, Wellesley College and Stanford University. In her spare time, she can be found scuba diving, sketching, writing poetry, and practicing taekwondo.
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