On the occasion of GIST Awareness Day, a GIST Patient Support Group Meeting was organised by the Max Foundation for Friends of Max on Friday, 14 July 2023 at Indira Gandhi Cooperative Hospital in Kochi. We spoke to Mathew M V, FOM Patient Leader, and asked him to share his thoughts and insights on the gathering:
Importance of Support Group Meetings for patients?
This type of meeting is very important as it provides an opportunity for GIST patients to come together and share their experiences. It also provides clarity with regard to the disease and the available treatments. Today Glivec is one of the most effective medicines available to manage this disease. Many patients are living because of this.
What are your feelings when you meet the FOM community?
Friends of Max (FOM) community, even though for this meeting, the participants were fewer, the interactions were precious. The Max Team was courteous enough to hear our difficulties.
What are your thoughts on the interactive sessions organized at these Support Group Meetings?
The interaction sessions were led by eminent doctors to help patients cope with GIST, and to clear their doubts.
Do you have any expectations from the future FOM Meeting?
FOM patient support group meetings should be arranged at regular intervals and at different places so that patients from far off places can also attend. I would like to see more meetings held in other main cities of Kerala as well.