GIST Awareness Day – Report by Madhukar Koli

The Max Foundation and Friends of Max organized a Support Group Meeting for GIST patients in Mumbai on 13th July as part of our GIST Awareness Day Celebrations. This was our first hybrid meeting with patient leaders in Mumbai attending at the venue and others joining us virtually from the rest of the country and Nepal.

We asked our City Chapter Leader from Mumbai, Madhukar Koli to talk about his experience at the meeting-

1. On the importance of Support Group Meetings for patients –

Newly diagnosed patients often lose hope and lack confidence. When senior patients who have been on treatment for 10-15 years share their experiences, it rekindles hope in the newly diagnosed ones. Even for a veteran patient like me, listening to patient leaders sharing their experiences always inspires me.

2. On meeting the FOM Community after 3 years –

The FOM Community and the Max team are like members of our extended family. There is a very warm feeling every time we meet. It is like a get together of family members.

3. On the sessions organized at these Support Group Meetings –

The expert panel of treating physicians at these support group meetings are always very helpful for the patients. When the physicians share information about the disease, it helps not just the patient asking the question, but also everyone listening to the answers.

Every support group meeting is unique which helps to keep things interesting. This meeting had a quilt making workshop organized by Tapan Mittal Deshpande of Thotpot. Everybody at the meeting was engaged in this workshop and it was very enjoyable. I made a moon with the weaving kit provided to me.

4. On his expectations from future FOM Meetings –

We know that the Max team puts a great deal of effort into organizing these patient support group meetings and making them interesting. It is always a new learning for us. That is why, we all make it a point to attend these meetings be it rain or shine. It gives us a lot of positivity.

You can watch the live replay of this meeting by clicking here.