The Bhubaneswar Regional meet of Friends of Max was held on 20th January 2013 at MP Hall, Employee Care Centre, Infosys, Bhubaneswar. The meeting was attended by more than 350 persons
and included all CML & GST survivors and their family members, volunteers, employees of Max Foundation and Doctors. From Max Foundation Ms. Viji Venkatesh, Ms Beena Narayan and Ms. Sudha Samineni were present. From the medical fraternity there were six (6) no.s of doctors present namely Dr. Ghanashyam Biswas, Dr. R.K. Jena, Dr. Probodh Das, Dr. Debasis Das, Dr. Khorbe Behera and Dr. Hemlata.
The meeting started at 08:30 AM in the morning with registration followed by breakfast. All the CML & GST survivors who had come for the meeting were asked to register themselves and they were handed over brochures and a batch on which it was mentioned “What is my PCR”. Volunteers and employees of MAX donned the batch “Give PCR a Chance”.
The meeting started with the National Anthem and the whole auditorium was buzzing with the sweet sound of Jana gana….. which was followed by a welcome address by the volunteers and Sudha in the local language, Oriya. The ceremonial inaugural lamp was then lighted by few representatives of the CML and GIST survivors along with Beena and Sudha.
After that Sudha made an excellent presentation in Oriya to the audience. She spoke about Max and how the Max foundation was created and why the foundation is dedicated to the service of the patients of CML and GIST. She also spoke about how patients can benefit from the services of The Max Foundation and the process and procedure followed by Novartis in distributing the medicine to the patients. The presentation was well appreciated by all. This was followed by an excellent presentation by Viji on “Introduction to What is my PCR campaign”. Amma being Amma got down to the basics and explained everyone about what PCR is, why it is important and why should patients ask and keep track of their PCR from the doctors.
But the highlight of the day was the question and answer session with the medical experts which was lively with questions ranging from the side effects of medicine to dosage to the likely affects it will have on pregnancy and child birth. There were also queries about the health of the child in case the parent is a CML or GIST patient. The questions were handled very well by each of the doctors who spoke in length about the disease and how Glivec has been helpful in controlling the same. They also advised the patients to go for regular blood tests as this will indicate whether the disease is under control or not and if the dosage needs to be changed. In fact, one of the patients present in the audience, a CML patient, who has a 2 year old daughter, spoke about her pregnancy and child birth. All in all the session was very informative and had to be closed due to shortage of time.
The question and session was followed by the vote of thanks by one of the volunteers of FOM who thanked the doctors and The Max Foundation for the help and support rendered to the CML and GIST patients. This was followed by lunch.
The final session started with a presentation by Amma on the Art therapy followed by an Art workshop. During the presentation, Amma highlighted the importance of Art therapy and requested everyone to participate in the Art Workshop. She also spoke about the importance of colours and how different colours fill our lives with happiness and joy. She divided all the patients into different groups and gave them a theme to draw. There were very interesting art papers by the different groups. The Art papers were very creative and imaginative. The most important part which could be derived from the Art workshop that most of the Art done by different group’s highlighted one aspect – HOPE and that was very awe-inspiring.
Finally, the meeting ended at around 4PM with the patients and the volunteers enjoying a cup of tea together.
Gautam Mohapatra, FOM Bhubaneswar