Jaipur FOM Meet- 16th December 2012

A month before the conference I met the most lively and enthusiastic lady of my life, Amma (Viji) as I didn’t know what the conference was all about 

and what my friends and I had to do; even though I had done several voluntary works earlier, this was the first time I was interacting with the medical world.  When she told me everything, I can’t express my feelings of how excited I was and when I told this to my friends they too were evenly excited.

We all were waiting for this amazing conference eagerly and just a day before the Rajasthan Regional Meeting was held, I met two wonderful people Leenata and Ayeshah to analyze various aspects of the meeting. We had to check if everything was in order for the meeting tomorrow: we started from the venue (auditorium) and then went to check the catering and the place where the food would be served but the place was not in a good state and we had to search for another place at last moment. Finally we found a beautiful garden and were all set for tomorrow’s meet.   The ultimate goal was to host another Rajasthan Regional Meeting in the near future.

It was a chilly winter morning, and all of us reached before time to set up the desks, tables, banners etc. It was amazing to see how Ayeshah and Leenata guided us all the way through the process from putting the posters to setting up the registration counter.

We were a team of 10 and were divided into two groups of 4 for managing the registration and the rest 2 were available for further help. We were all set for an incredible experience and the registration began sharp at 8:30. We first thought that there might not be a lot of participation from the people but as the first band of people came in we were all excited about it. We told them all the things about PCR so that they can live a better and healthy life ahead. On arrival after registration, some of us guided the attendees to enjoy yummy breakfast ranging from hot and spicy aloo – pooris to mouth watering jalebis. It was just scintillating.

The number of attendees kept on increasing and by 11:00 we had 70% of the SMS hall full. So we decided to start the meet. 

It all started with National Anthem, and we had Amma welcoming the chief guest and then she invited cheerful Ayeshah to take control of the stage.

Ayeshah pulchritudinously presented information on Friends of Max and its activities. After that we had the privilege to have Dr. Subhash Nepalia as our honorable guest, the Principal of the SMS Medical College in Jaipur along with high profile medical oncologists from the SMS Medical College namely Dr. Hemant Malhotra, Dr. Sandeep Jasuja, Dr. Rameshwaram Sharma and Dr. Anish Maru along with our very own Amma and our FOM volunteer in Jaipur Mrs. Shaila Bhandari, to light the lamp at stage and declare the meet open.

Our Chief Guest was then invited to speak few words of encouragement for the attendees, he congratulated the MAX Foundation for hosting such a wonderful event and emphasized on the importance of compliance, balanced diet and lifestyle.

Amma spoke more about compliance, she showed us data that over the year how we have reached to 92% of compliance much higher than 75% in 2011 and again re enforced that how much importance does taking medicine regularly carry and what are the consequences if we miss taking the medicine. Also she talked about the medicine that have allowed people with leukemia to live a prosperous life for a great number of years.  Later she spoke about What is My PCR campaign and educated many survivors that we should always ask our physician “WHAT IS MY PCR?” and we should work with our physician to get this test done at least once in a year so that we know how our life is grooming (For FOM who have financial Constraint).

By this time it was around 12:30 and Ayeshah invited our doctors on the stage for a quick, short and informative question and answer session.

Survivors present were invited to ask questions and the doctors were bombarded with questions ranging from side effects like tiredness, puffiness, growth in children, nausea, and irritation. There were also questions on Marriage and Pregnancy. It was just so nice to see the attendees asking sensible questions regularly. This session was never going to end but as we were out of time we had to end this marvelous session and all the physicians reemphasized on importance of taking medicine on time, getting the test done regularly and never taking the medicine empty stomach. They most importantly emphasized that we are as normal as any other human being and we should not discriminate ourselves from the world and lead a simple and secure life as any other person.

It was around 1:30 PM when this session ended and we had the people from MAX giving a token of love to the doctors. Then the attendees were asked to have luculent lunch mainly consisting of dishes like dal tadka, gataa, matar masala and various type of bread. The lunch was swadisth.

Just after lunch we had the compliance session and we were divided into four groups. We distributed the survey sheet and the attendees were asked to fill it completely so that we can conclude upon them.

Before ending this magnificent meet we had few FOM volunteers and survivors come up and talk about their lives and experiences, some also sang songs for us. It was just remarkable to see them talk so beautifully and the songs were just noteworthy.

Thanks to all who made this day such a stupendous success. I would like to thank all the survivors, FOM and The MAX Foundation for making it happen and also a special thanks to Shaila Mamisa, Viji Aunty, Ayeshah, Leenata and particularly to Novartis for making Jadu Ki Pudia, the magic bullet for people suffering from leukemia, this wouldn’t have been possible without your support and guidance. Thanks to all who made the day such an important part of my friends and my life. We all are truly indebted to you. Lastly, I would again like to thank the MAX Foundation for providing us with such an enlightening experience.

Ronak Dhaddha