The Max Foundation and Friends of Max organized a Virtual Support Group Meeting for CML & GIST patients on 21st May 2022. This meeting was attended by 115 participants including patients, their caregivers, physicians and the Max team. Another 136 people joined this meeting live on Facebook.
Max Programme Officer Anshika Tandon welcomed the attendees and introduced the physicians present at the meeting, following which Max’s Priyanka Kandalgaonkar and Prasad Kothekar delivered their enlightening presentations on The Max Foundation’s work and its Max Access Solutions programme respectively.
Friends of Max Trustee Pramod George introduced Friends of Max as the support group for CML & GIST patients in India and spoke about how the patients and caregivers across India connected through the organization act like one big family. “Let us help each other and create a better and more helpful world for ourselves”, he said as he shared personal anecdotes on how they have helped him in the past.
The esteemed panel of physicians present at this meeting included Drs. Jayant Indurkar, AK Ganju, Amol Dongre, Pritesh Junagad, Sameer Melinkeri and Smita Gupte. Moderated by Dr Amol Dongre and Anshika Tandon, the physicians shed light on various topics of importance for the attendees such as side effects of treatment, Treatment Free Remission, COVID vaccines, Family Planning and more.
A unique offering of this meeting was a talk by Dr Vinay Chapalgaonkar (Psychiatrist, Chapalgaonkar Psychiatry Hospital, Aurangabad) who spoke about the “Impact of Cancer on Mental Health” and shared some simple yet effective steps that can help patients take care of their emotional wellbeing.
Amruta Patidar, FOM City Chapter Leader from Pune delivered a heartfelt Vote of Thanks. Expressing gratitude towards The Max Foundation, she says how the people at the organization have taught her that “Life is beautiful despite the problems and we must face it with a smile”.
FOM Communications Manager then spoke in detail about Friends of Max as an NGO, its various initiatives, Chai for Cancer – the fundraiser, and the recently launched FOM Membership programme and its perks.
FOM City Chapter Leaders Abhishek Patidar and Nikhil Batra in the form of a light-hearted dialogue explained the importance of compliance to patients, whereas Shashikant Jhakade and Milan Hakani delivered a wonderful presentation on why patients may fail to be compliant.
With that, the evening of sharing and learning together was brought to an end and the participants casually interacted with each other, thanking the team for their efforts in organizing the meeting and promising to meet in person in the near future.