Mumbai, Jul 4: Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre Behl revealed she has been diagnosed with "high grade" cancer and is currently undergoing treatment in New York.
The 43-year-old actor called the diagnosis a "curveball" but said her family and close friends have rallied around her and they remain "optimistic" in this difficult time.
"Sometimes, when you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. I have recently been diagnosed with a high grade cancer that has metastised, which we frankly did not see coming. A niggling pain led to some tests, which led to this unexpected diagnosis.
"My family and close friends have rallied around me, providing the best support system that anyone can ask for. I am very blessed and thankful for each of them," Sonali said in a statement. The actor, the latest Bollywood celebrity to be diagnosed with cancer after Irrfan Khan, said she is taking the battle head on.
"There is no better way to tackle this, than to take swift and immediate action. And so, as advised by my doctors, I am currently undergoing a course of treatment in New York. We remain optimistic and I am determined to fight every step of the way... I'm taking this battle head on, knowing I have the strength of my family and friends behind me," she added. She has not revealed the type of cancer she is suffering from but thanked family and friends for the "immense outpouring of love and support".
Bendre, best known for her role in '90s movies such as "Sarfarosh", "Diljale" and "Duplicate", is married to filmmaker Goldie Behl. The couple has a 13-year-old son, Ranveer. The actor, who has been more active on television in the past decade, recently left her judging chair at reality TV show "India's Best Dramebaaz". She has been replaced by Huma Qureshi.
Reacting to the news, actor Reteish Deshmukh said, "Deeply saddened and shaken by this news. Praying for your speedy recovery and good health."