AN INSPIRING CANADIAN STORY
Dr. Manu Dua – A message of true love and helping others
Dr. Manu Dua, a Calgarian Dentist and owner of Montgomery Dental, passed away of metastatic Oral Cancer in March 2021. He was 34.
In his last days, he reflected and wrote a series of blogs that are now a book called “Life Interrupted, Dr. Dua’s Survival Guide” available on Amazon. This book deals with life, loss, and his lessons he reflected on as he faced his mortality at age 34. He talks about finding beauty in small things, facing fear, learning from failure, respecting death and leaving the world a better place. To realize that even as the world falls apart, to never lose hope. That in the worst of times, under the worst of circumstances, we are more powerful than we can imagine.
This story is about losing everything, grieving and finding the courage to move on. How Dr. Parul Dua Makkar (Manu’s sister) managed this grief of losing her younger and only sibling and dealt with everything as a mom, daughter, sister, wife, dentist, business owner, daughter-in-law, of the many hats she wears.
The book also talks about the many faults in the Canadian Health system that led to his death. Manu’s metastasis happened in 2020, followed by death in March of 2021 at the height of the pandemic. In this book, Dr. Parul Dua Makkar writes about how she flew with permission from Canada on Compassion release bases to travel from NY to Calgary, where he resided. This story is important to share to bring awareness to Oral Cancer and know signs and symptoms. This is an important topic to her on a personal and professional level. Dr. Parul Dua Makkar hopes that through awareness and early detection, more lives can be saved. So, no parent has to bury/cremate a young child due to Oral Cancer.
There is also a podcast of same name “Life Interrupted, Dr Dua’s Survival Guide podcast companion” where Dr. Parul Dua Makkar talks about her brother Dr Manu Dua with some of Calgary’s Dental Specialists and Doctors. This podcast was a way to heal and express grief, a chance that COVID had stolen.
Manu was an excellent writer and was featured on several Dental magazines and was on the cover of DentalTown in Nov 2019. This book, Life Interrupted, Dr. Dua’s Survival Guide has been featured by the American and Canadian Dental Associations.
Manu was a prominent and well-liked owner and Dentist and owner of Montgomery Dental in NW Calgary. His clinic won best of Montgomery 2020. He also volunteered for C.U.P.S and mission trips for the less fortunate in Peru. Manu’s parents are a true immigrant success story, his dad retired from a senior management position at SNC Lavalin, and his mom retired from CBE. They still reside in Calgary. Manu graduated and was the MC at his graduation from Earnest Manning High School. He was also on the Rugby team that won provincial championships. An avid sports player, he won medals for squash and badminton. He went to the University of Calgary and later obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) from the University of British Columbia.
Manu also had a dog, Maya, taken in and adopted by his palliative nurse as he went from palliative to hospice and subsequently died. His nurse still brings the dog, Maya, over to come to visit the family.
Manu’s message is of hope and resilience. The message has been carried forward by his sister (Dr. Parul Dua Makkar), who has been featured in multiple places; see below:
- Anokhi Uncensored, based in Toronto and several other podcasts worldwide.
- A book reading for the Alberta Wellness Summit in Calgary in June 2023. (Book: Life Interrupted, Dr Dua’s Survival Guide)
- REDFM this August.
- Open To Hope Foundation Podcast
- Various organizations and upcoming Dental seminars.
- Podcast – The podcast features many of Calgary’s prominent Dental Specialists and Doctors. (Podcast: Life Interrupted, Dr. Dua’s Survival Guide Podcast companion)
- Desi News feature
May this book be a way to do self-reflection and live your best life, as tomorrow is promised to no one. You can reach Dr. Parul Dua Makkar on Instagram @pdmfamilydental.
An excerpt from the book Life Interrupted, Dr. Dua’s Survival Guide.
“…Our lives will come and go, but our ideas will remain immortal, and therefore in essence the soul behind our work remains eternal. So, seek not to fear your own mortality, but rather embrace the challenge to create something that will outlive your fears and wildest imaginations, such that you may be able to provide service years after you have dearly departed. Live with the strength that not only is this not possible, but quiet tangible if we can simply let go of fears that will not serve us with any purpose in this life or next.”- Dr. Manu Dua