At the Madurai Support Group Meeting organized by The Max Foundation and Friends of Max for CML & GIST patients in Tamil Nadu, FOM City Chapter Leader from Chennai – Viswanathan Nagarajan was interviewed and asked to share his views
1. Importance of Support Group Meetings for patients?
Support group meetings show patients that they are not alone and there are thousands of others living with CML and making the most out of their lives. It’s a great opportunity to make friends. We share and learn from one another.
2. Feelings on meeting the FOM Community after 3 years?
The energy, atmosphere and joy of seeing members is an incredible feeling. It is difficult to put it into words. The meeting was a kind of reminder that we should have such meetings often. As FOM members it becomes our responsibility to be there for our fellow patients.
3. Thoughts on sessions organized at these Support Group Meetings ?
The medical expert panel discussion plays an invaluable role in overcoming stigma and fear. Dr. Krishnakumar Rathanam and his team were very grateful to clear the queries. They made sure that the patient interacted and made the session lively.
Post lunch we had a volunteer workshop conducted by Viji. It was gratifying to see the response and active participation. Many of this year’s participants were first-timers, who came forward with enthusiasm and excitement.
4. Expectations from future FOM Meeting ?
I would say it will be difficult to match the Madurai meeting. However, we would like to organize more small-scale support group meetings to help cancer patients live their lives with dignity and hope.