Date: 7th May 2011
Venue: Bombay Hospital
On a bright sunny morning on 7th May, 2011 a certain sprightly group of people with a spring in their step gathered at the Bombay Hospital. Well, this is how I would describe a Friends of Max meeting;
this large and growing family that maximises life in the true sense of the word. The auditorium was huge but packed to its full capacity and bustling with FOM volunteers, Max foundation staff, patients and their families. Cheerful people greeting each other like old friends chatting and giggling – a far cry from a stereotype of people living with cancer.
The agenda was clear- to get more education on the management of CML and GIST and learning through sharing. It started with a survey about determining the reasons why someone is irregular in taking their daily dose of Glivec as advised by the doctor and what makes some people eat it regularly. Amma, in a short presentation cited some of the reasons that caused people to be irregular as well as some pointers that those who were regular followed. She invited some members on stage to share their thoughts and tips on how to be regular. It was amazing to see the oldest FOM member who is 82 yrs old enthusiastically sharing his inputs. Dr. Hari Menon of Tata Memorial Hospital also gave his inputs and answered queries raised by the audience. This was followed by a session by Dr. M B Aggarwal who shared insights in developments and new findings in the treatment. His presentation was simple and his friendly banter kept the mood light. It was heartening to know that there are so many advanced treatment options that were available. The post lunch session was about the members sharing their inspiring stories of triumph in the FOM book of stories. Some of the participants like Manoj, Sriram, Mrs Shukla and Mr. Garg shared their really inspiring experiences.
The last session was about food and nutrition and it gave useful insights on a healthy diet.
Like all good things this programme also came had to come to an end with everyone singing ‘hum honge kamyab’. People parted with the promise to keep the faith and stay in touch. As for me I feel I have found a family in Mumbai.