FOM – Lucknow

{mosimage} Friends of Max meeting held at Lucknow on the 18th October at Mohammed Bagh Club, Lucknow.

The first ever Friends of Max in this region meeting took place on the 18th October at Mohammed Bagh Club, Lucknow. The club is a spacious, old fashioned and very elegant structure, in the Cantonment area of this city. The participants along with their spouses, children and some with their relatives attended the meeting. Everyone was greeted warmly by Amma and Ayeshah on their arrival. They made sure that everybody felt comfortable and at home.  

Soon, from the group itself, we eager volunteers were happy to be helping at the registration counter, putting up banners and preparing the kit bags that were distributed to all. Before we knew it there were more than a hundred and twenty people who had come from all over the state – Kanpur, Rae Bareilly, Agra ……

This was followed by Breakfast – fresh sandwiches washed down with sweet, hot tea and all of us exchanging greetings. The meeting started with the National Anthem and the song Hum Honge Kamyaab. All of those present joined in singing this motivating and inspiring song. Thereafter, Ayeshah delivered the Welcome Address which was followed by Amma’s introduction about the Max Foundation. She started with the brief history of the Max Foundation explaining how it came about and how Novartis came forward to help out with the medicine. Everybody was touched to hear about MAX and NOVARTIS and their key role in saving thousands of lives throughout the world.
The Chief Guest, Major General of the AMC of Central Command, Lucknow was then introduced by Amma and was invited to share a few words with the audience.  His advice to all of us was not to lose heart, believe in the medicine and face the world courageously

Next, there was a short presentation by Amma on the stories of five of our International brethren and this motivated a session in which the volunteers came forward on the stage and introduced themselves one by one and shared their experiences with the others. The session was very informative and inspiring. People also came up with useful suggestions like referring to the disease as CML and not Cancer and try to enjoy every second of life.
We were all happy to have a chance to share our stories and more so tell each other how we benefitted from the steadfast support of our families and especially our partners.

We then took a break for a delicious lunch and then four groups were formed namely, Orange, Yellow, Blue and Green as per our name cards for a Workshop on the topic – Coping with the Diagnosis .Four group leaders were appointed from within the groups and were asked to discuss the topic amongst themselves and finally put the conclusions on a chart paper with marker pens.

The four groups worked independently and came out with certain points out of their discussions and presented the same in front of everybody. This was a great learning and sharing experience for all the participants. For almost an hour we were in close consultations in each other , describing our reactions and the manner in which each of us , individually and with our family’s support , managed to surmount the hurdle in front of us. Some of the conclusions reached were the following : 

  1. Live in the present with no worries about the future
  2. We have to perform our duties assigned / expected of us in domestic/professional lives
  3. Life is full of challenges. Hurdles will come our way at some point in life. We should have the will power to overcome them.
  4. Destiny will take its course ;we have to live with this
  5. A positive attitude to be adopted in daily life
  6. Financial burdens affect the smooth running of the family , joint family support is a boon
  7. Never lose faith in self and God
  8. Take help from meditation
  9. Keep yourself busy and occupied
  10. Follow a healthy diet regime
  11. Trust your doctor
  12. Never lose confidence in your own abilites
  13. Will power will power you
  14. Live each moment of your day well

Everyone was delighted to see Dr. A K Tripathi, the physician in Lucknow treating the CML patients and working closely with Max Foundation. He answered to all the queries of the people regarding the medicine, after effects and the dosage. He also advised the patients not to stop the medicine without any major reasons. For over an hour and a half he answered our questions patiently and in a simple manner. His sense of humour kept us all feeling very comfortable and made the atmosphere very easy.

The program came to end with the celebration of MAXs Birthday. A huge Cake was arranged and all the children present gathered to cut the cake and sang for MAX. Everyone remembered MAX and conveyed their gratitude to the Foundation for the excellent work they were doing all these years for the benefit of thousands of people across the globe.

The meeting concluded with Tea and Snacks. Everyone wished that these sessions were organized more frequently so that we could all meet more frequently and derive strength from each other.

Arun Bhargav , Kanpur