FOM – Ahmedabad

Date: 13th December, 2008
Venue:Rustamji Cama Hall, the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad

Welcome to Viji Amma, Ayeshah & Vidya Tahilramani and the whole team of the Max Foundation to Ahmedabad city. A city known for its rich history, it’s Culture, its Tradition and its Food.

This was the first time I was attending a patient meeting in my six years with CML. I am a CML patient since December, 2002. And on Glivec from July’2003. My PCR report is negative from last 3 years. 

The FOM meeting was held on 13th December, 2008, Saturday at the Rustamji Cama Hall, in the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad. There were more than 260 plus attendance from all around Gujarat. The participants along with their spouses, children and some with their relatives attended the meeting. Everyone was greeted warmly by Amma & Ayeshah on their arrival. The registration procedure was handled in a most efficient manner by the volunteers of the “Karuna Care Foundation”. Every member was given a Friends of Max bag with reading material. All of us took hot tea, coffee & biscuits that was served for morning breakfast.
At 9.30 am, on schedule Ayeshah delivered the welcome address and invited all the doctors, FOM Team members and all the patients to join in the day’s meeting. After that, Dr. Pankajbhai Shah, who is the HOD & Director of the Cancer Hospital, Civil Campus, gave the inaugural speech. He then introduced his team of Doctors i.e. Dr. Kirti Patel, Dr. Asha Anand, Dr. B. J. Parekh, Dr. Sonia Parekh, Dr. Harsha Panchal and Dr. Apurva Parekh.
After that the Question-Answer session began. Dr. Harsha Panchal took the podium and presented each doctor on the panel with FAQs from a list she had prepared. And the Senior Doctors gives answer very politely regarding all types of Cancers, awareness of Cancer, Precautions in CML, Signs of CML, Causes of CML, treatment in CML, side effects of Glivec, etc. They answered the questions asked by the patients & their relatives also after that.  

Next was the presentation by Ayeshah saw regarding the establishment and history of Max Foundation, their network around the world and their role in Novartis’ donation programme GIPAP which was responsible for saving thousands of lives throughout the World?

Thereafter, Amma gave her speech, with her special charm, on the stories of some of the International Patients in the programme. These were heartwarming and also we saw the excellent pictures drawn by some CML survivors. She then introduced and invited some volunteers on stage to share their experiences with the others. And also Viji Amma did the honors of introducing core members. With her magic words, she set a lighter tone to the proceedings and ensured that everyone had a smile on their faces.
Shri Ushakantbhai Shah, FOM Core Group Volunteer of Ahmadabad Chapter & founder of Karuna Kare Foundation, gave us some useful suggestions and told us his experience which talked about the 3 miracles in his life. He tells us to enjoy the every moment of life. He also said that to never lose faith in self and God.

Dhirajbhai Haldhar spoke from his heart about his journey and motivated everyone to stay away fear as people who had fear would not be able to enjoy the different colours of life.  

Mohammadarif Vekaria who came from Himmatnagar shared his experience and then showed his gratitude towards GIPAP, Novartis and TMF.

Karan Vyas a 15 year old handsome boy walked onto the stage and spoke about himself too. He was proud of how he had finished his schooling and now is moving on with his future studies. It was indeed nice to see people from all walk of life share their stories.  

We were all happy to share our experiences with each other and how we benefited from support of our family and especially our life partners. This was a great learning and sharing experience for all the patients.

And lastly, Vidya Tahilramani gave some kind words of thanks. The meeting concluded with the Lunch. Everyone wished that these types of sessions would be organized more frequently so that we could all meet more often and derive strength from each other.

Amma, Vidya & Ayeshah met all patients personally and spoke affectionately, with great warmth with everyone. I was so surprised to hear them call every participant by their name. We then took pictures including a group photograph with everyone.

In my view, “Never Lose Will Power & Confidence In Yourself”. It is the best medicine in all diseases. It cure 50 % your diseases. This meeting was a successful one in all respects. We could see the hope rising again in our lives.

The moral of this meeting is :

  1. Never lose faith in self and God
  2. Trust your Doctors
  3. Take medicines regularly
  4. Never lose confidence
  5. Live each moment of your life
  6. Make your attitude positive in life

Report by FOM Ajay Gandhi,Ahmedabad