The man behind Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Subbaiah Arunan, project manager of MOM, is a cancer survivor.
Arunan, 54, was diagnosed with rectal cancer five years ago, when he was part of the Chandrayaan mission.
"I wasn't prepared to hear it. I was devastated when I sat down with the doctors. However, the confidence they showed in me gave me hope," he said, referring to the doctor who treated him at Manipal Hospital.
"To me cancer was in a way a boon as it brought out the best in me. I had the time to think and prepare for the MOM. When you are fighting cancer, more than the medical care, it is the will power, confidence and determination which help you fight the disease," Arunan said.
"My motivation and drive were MOM. My ailment gave me the confidence to handle the project and face worse situations."
Even today, he visits the hospital to counsel patients on how to cope with the killer disease. "When I had cancer, there was no one I could talk to. It's very important for patients to share their thoughts with someone. One thing I tell them is not to let the ailment dampen their fighting spirit," he added.