GIST meeting report
Venue: Tata Memorial Hospital
Date: 12th April 2014
With a view to offer a common platform for GIST patients to share their fears & experiences, The Max Foundation along with Tata Memorial Hospital has been arranging GIST patient meets all over India.
One such meeting was organized on 12th April, 2014 at Tata Hospital for the patients from in & around Mumbai. The significance of the meeting was greatly enhanced by the presence of two treating doctors, Dr. Shailesh Shrikhande & Dr. Vikas Ostwal from Tata Memorial Hospital.
Opening the meet, the coordinator of The Max Foundation, thanked all the patients & their care givers, numbering about 45 men, women & children in all, for making it convenient to attend the meeting. All the patients stood up one by one and gave their short introduction & case history. All the queries of the patients on the drug Glivec & GIST and its side effects were answered by Dr. Shrikhande & Dr. Ostwal to everybody’s satisfaction.
A presentation on drug compliance was given by Viji Venkatesh, the country head of The Max Foundation. She also explained the importance of taking the drug regularly under all circumstances without any break whatsoever.
Mrs. Shukla, one of the survivors, narrated her life experiences after she was diagnosed with GIST and how she has not missed the medicine even for a day.
Dr. Shrikhande had also invited one of his patients from TMH who had undergone several surgeries and still continued to live a decent life. The meet was utilized to answer all the queries of the patients who otherwise find it difficult to clear their doubts due to lack of time with their treating doctors. The meet also helps new patients to find their feet and courage when they meet other old pts. The whole concept is the brain child of The Max Foundation and it goes a long way in creating new confidence in patients.
In the end it was tea time where all the new & old patients mingled with each other & personally shared their experiences freely. Everyone thanked Novartis, GIPAP & The Max Foundation profusely. They expressed their gratitude for all the assistance provided and hoped for a new & better life.
Report by Mrs. Vasamvada Shukla.