Guwahati Meeting-Report by Subhash Jain

At the Support Group Meeting held on 13 January 2023, for the CML & GIST patients at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati, organized by The Max Foundation for Friends of Max, Subhash Jain, FOM City Chapter Leader from Guwahati, was interviewed and asked to share his views:

1. Importance of Support Group Meetings for patients?

Support group meetings provide an opportunity for both old and new patients to attend. New patients during the meeting are better informed about the disease and its management, while the old patients update their knowledge about the latest advancements in the field of cancer treatment. It is a forum which allows patients to share their discomfort on account of their diagnosis and ask questions in a very relaxed atmosphere. In this particular meeting, I was very happy to see the satisfaction on the face of the patients.

2. What are your feelings when you meet the FOM community?

It is always very nice to meet and connect with old and new friends. It feels good to share and learn from each other’s experiences.

“Purane yaar dost jab miltein hain toh bahut accha lagta hai, ek apana pan lagta hai”.

3. What are your thoughts on the interactive sessions organized at these Support Group Meetings?

It is a pleasure to have Amma in our midst and to listen to her stories from the past. The interactive session provides an opportunity for the attending patients to work in smaller groups and share their experiences with everyone. Through these sessions, we are able to learn something new, every time.

4. Do you have any expectations from the future FOM Meeting?

I would like to see at least two meetings held every year.

We also need to increase awareness about the importance and benefits (to patients) of the patient support meeting, so that more and more patients can attend our future meetings.

For patients to come to Guwahati, they usually need to travel from far. Hence, to facilitate maximum participation if patient travel costs and cheap accommodation facilities could be looked at, it would be a welcome gesture.