Our first Virtual Support Group Meeting was held on Sunday July 12th, 2020 to observe GIST Awareness Day and to honour the memory of our beloved Patient Leader & GIST Advocate -Nikhil Guhagarkar.
We had patients, caregivers, physicians & advocates waiting to join the Zoom call and every single one on the call stayed on till the very end. Every single patient we invited attended the meeting. Those who had never attended a Zoom Call before were sent tutorials on how to do so and everyone’s excitement and eagerness was palpable.
The Question Hour with the physicians was as always the height of the session with questions flowing fast and free and the physicians fielding them with care, compassion and gentle humour. COVID-19 and related precautionary measures were discussed along with many issues related to the treatment and management of GIST, during these times.
The meeting also included a short presentation on what GIST Awareness Day stands for and the efforts taken by The Max Foundation and Friends of Max in observing this, day such as conducting an activity focusing on the theme : GIST HOPE by asking our City Chapter Leaders and members “WHAT DOES HOPE MEAN TO YOU?” We received an overwhelming response as they shared their inspiring messages on HOPE. We also created frames highlighting GIST Awareness Day and shared these messages on our digital platforms.
After the presentation, the physicians as well as Nikhil’s friends and peers found themselves sharing their memories of their loved friend and some of our GIST stalwarts shared their stories of HOPE!
We want to sincerely thank Dr. Jagannath, D.r Shrikhande, Dr. Sirohi, Vandana Gupta, Rashi Kapoor and all the Friends of Max for joining us and for making this session what it was!