Report by Amruta Patidar Volunteer FOM Pune
The third Leadership Summit was held in the beautiful city of Kochi, which is in the state of Kerala. This year was special as it was the first time that the Rising Sun was hosted in India and Day 2 of the LS was a joint event with the RS. The Venue Abad Plaza was amidst the busy streets of Kochi and was very cheerful and lively.
Day 2 of the Leadership Summit started off with Yoga. Abhishek Sharma, who was our Yoga Guru started the session at 6:30 am when the sun started spreading its rays on the terrace of Abad Plaza. What a sight it was! We had members from both the LS and RS attending this yoga session with full enthusiasm. The session ended with some important facts of yoga, group pictures and selfies.
Members then had a break to freshen up and get ready for the next big event which was our very own CFC (Chai for Cancer). CFC and RS registrations took place between 8:00 am to 9:00 at the Vantage Point which was located at the first floor Abad Plaza. This one hour was the hour of tea and talks.
The day moved on and so did we, at about 9:00 am there was a welcoming session by the RS delegates and the checkout activity of the LS delegates. We re-united at 9:15 am and then started the session on “Best Practices Sharing” by the patient groups of the respective regions. Mumbai FOM Sujeesh and Vijaya from The Max Foundation came up on the stage to give a presentation on CFC. They explained every aspect on CFC in a beautiful manner which helped the other delegates to understand the actual concept of CFC.
We then broke for a tea break; this tea break was one crazy sight. Pramod, our very own Trustee moved between the crowd selling our beautiful calendars and mugs. Seeing him do any activity is always so much fun. We once again got back to the hall and the remaining presentations went on.
At 12:15 pm we all gathered for a group photo, actually a very huge group photo and proceeded for lunch. Post lunch the LS was concluded and RS continued. The first session post lunch was a session on CLL. Dr Raymond Wong came up to share his insights on “Living Well with CLL” and Dr Suresh Advani spoke on “CLL in India”. Both the doctors with their best efforts gave complete justice to their respective topics. Talks and discussions on CLL went on till 2:30pm, post which the session on CML began. Yet another insightful session by Dr Hari Menon, Dr Raymond Wong and Dr Pankaj Malhotra. Dr Hari Menon spoke about the known and unknowns of “Long Term Side Effects of TKI in CML”, Dr Wong gave a presentation on “Treatment Free Remission (TFR)” which included all the facts that CML patients should know and finally Dr Pankaj Malhotra came up on the stage to elaborate on the topic “The Role of Molecular Monitoring in CML management and how can we do better together”. Now what I like most about Dr Malhotra is that he explains every aspect of CML in layman’s language which makes his crowd very comfortable and forthcoming, his sessions are always my favourites.
After such awe-inspiring medical sessions, it is always good to have a coffee break as it helps restore the immense knowledge shared by great doctors. We returned to the hall post the coffee break and started our next session on “PCR Advocacy Toolkit”. Kathy Redmond gave a presentation on the PCR Advocacy Toolkit, and she had some really good stuff to share. Kathy seemed very focused and determined to make the Toolkit a huge success.
We concluded the first day of the RS with an Offsite Dinner. And as the saying goes “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, we ended our day 1 of the Rising Sun with chit-chats, cultural dance, food, selfies and loads and loads of fun.