Friends of Max Kolkata Chapter launches..

Maximize Life 2010

Date: 19th September 2010
Venue: Uttam Manch

Along with the Max Foundation, the Friends of Max Kolkata Chapter organized yet another regional meet for patient support and guidance on 19th September, 2010 at the Uttam Manch, Kolkata. It was a successful Meet with an attendance of over 350 eager participants from all over the state of West Bengal and a fitting launch to the month long Awareness Campaign ‘Maximize Life” .
The day’s programme started with registration at 11.30am which went smoothly despite the crush of FOM and family members all eager to receive their badges and bags with little gifts and reading material. This was followed by a delicious lunch buffet which was enjoyed by all. The leading oncologists of the city namely: Dr. R. N. Ghosh, Dr. Ashis. Mukherjee and Dr. Sharmila Chandra were kind enough to attend and arrived well in time for the Q & A session for which there was no dearth of eager participants. 
Outside the auditorium, the messages borne by the Sparrow of Hope soon covered the Tribute Wall as everyone put up their own little message of encouragement to the world. This was a great , strong show of solidarity by all of us to the Global Awareness Campaign launched by The Max Foundation.
After a welcome address in Hindi by Amma and in Bengali by Sangita, Amma gave a touching and informative presentation stressing on the importance of being regular while taking the medicine and minding the adequate dosage advice of the doctors.  She also shared with us some motivating and touching stories of some patients across the country she came in touch with. She also clarified the concepts of the drug access programme regarding which people had a lot of doubts and fears.
This was followed by the eagerly awaited Q & A session. Questions ranged from daily compliance to effect of Glivec on children born to parents on Glivec. The doctors patiently answered all the queries and gave valuable advice. A lot of the patients expressed their deep gratitude to Max Foundation and Novartis and joy at being able to lead a normal life. Their testimonials inspired the other patients especially those new to the Glivec family. Furthermore, the testimonials by long term Glivec recipients from among the core group members-the veterans-namely Stutudi, Arindam, Neel, Navin (husband of Anshu Aggarwal) and Narenda strengthened the belief and faith of the the patients and there care-givers on Glivec. 
The meet was concluded with a vote of thanks by Sushmita and a pledge by the core group members to help all the fellow patients in whatever way they could.
Several participants came forward to extend their helping hand to the Max Foundation and our family increased a little more in size and sentiment. ‘Hum honge kamyab’ was a fitting finale to this meet and the spontaneous joining of voices to this song aptly represented the spirit of the Max Foundation-together we will conquer anything that stands in the way of our happiness. No one wanted to leave and even the doctors stayed back chatting and talking at ease and at leisure with ever one . The bonding that began the previous evening at Subir and Sushmita’s place while all the 300 bags were being packed and the programme for the next day planned over a delicious meal spilled over amongst all those present and no one really wanted to say goodbye to each other !!!!!

Reported by Sangita Sen FOM Core Group Kolkata