LS 2016 – Nirmesh Prakash – Secretary FOM, reflects on a special occasion

My dear Sisters and Brothers,

Do you all know that we have grown into the world’s largest CML/GIST cancer patient support group? Even though we talk about it, there are so many of us who don’t know about it.

It is estimated that India has between 50-60k patients diagnosed with CML/GIST and FOM touches over 18k of these patients…that’s like 40-50% coverage! This is a key reason for the respect that FOM commands and is slowly, but surely, evolving into an important voice in the world of cancer patient support groups.

When some of us who have had the privilege of attending international patient support group conferences such as CML Horizons (a global conference) and Rising Sun (focussed on Asia Pacific), it’s a matter of pride for us to showcase the work that FOM has done.

Most participants are amazed by our scale and always wonder how we manage our patient meetings with over 200-300 people or how FOM has executed a simple idea like Chai-for-Cancer and made it’s our primary fund-raising tool! Similarly, when we hear about the great ideas other groups across the world have succeeded with, it’s so inspiring. Another reason that FOM should participate in, especially Rising Sun, is that Rising Sun is managed by The Max Foundation – the reason for FOM’s existence! And finally, FOM should actively participate as these are the international forums through which FOM gets a lot of educational information that will be shared via tools such as this newsletter, brochures & leaflets, SMSs, etc.

So, as a long-standing trustee of FOM, I propose that we continue to build our stature as the premier CML/GIST patient support group across the world and one day, we will emerge as one of the key voices on cancer support & advocacy across India as well as the world. As FOM’s motto says…Together, we share and learn!

Cheers to Life!