Key Insights by Manhar Koachar, FOM City Chapter Leader, Delhi, on the Patient Support Group Meeting held in Jaipur

To commemorate World CML Day 2023, a Patient Support Group Meeting was held on September 22, 2023, at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Jaipur, for CML patients. It was organized by The Max Foundation for Friends of Max. We asked visiting FOM City Chapter Leader from Delhi, Manhar Koachar, to share his views:

1.  Importance of Support Group Meetings for patients?

Support Group Meetings offer a safe space for participants to connect, discuss their journeys, and gain a sense of belonging. By fostering a sense of community, these meetings significantly boost participants’ confidence and emotional well-being, helping them cope with their challenges with greater resilience and hope and provide comfort in difficult times.

In the Jaipur meeting, I was so pleased to see that FOM could arrange a testing facility provided by its diagnostic partner, CORE. All visiting patients were given the opportunity to have their BCR-ABL, CBC, KFT and LFT tests done at no cost. In my opinion, initiatives like this not only encourage and enable patients to comply with the mandatory testing and monitoring protocols, but it also provides a financial relief to an otherwise long-term diagnosis.

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

It’s all about that warm, relaxed camaraderie and the sense of understanding that comes with it. It’s like a reunion of friends who share similar experiences, where you can enjoy that familiar, casual connection and heartfelt support.

3.  What are your thoughts on the interactive sessions organized at the meeting?

The interactive sessions at these meetings are a fantastic way for participants to engage, share their experiences, and learn from one another. These sessions often provide valuable insights, foster discussions, and create a dynamic, enriching environment that adds depth to the overall experience.

4.      Do you have any expectations from future FOM meetings?

I look forward to many more meetings. Further, if in the next meeting we could organise a hybrid mode that would be great! It would allow patients who are otherwise unable to come for the meeting to join online (like we did during COVID times). On one hand, this would encourage and enable many more patients to become a part of the FOM family, and on the other, it would help FOM scale up its new patient outreach.