MAXimizing Life- 19th October 2013

To tell you the truth the scariest thing isn’t a Stephen king novel or a pimple.

The world is bigger and has many more problems. Terrorism, corruption and all that. When I left home this morning, I was headed to something bigger. But it wasn’t scary it was heartwarming.

I found my tiny chair at one end of the room and I silently observed my surroundings in the Pediatrics OPD in Tata hospital. It was full of a different kind of energy. It was a happy atmosphere. You’re probably wondering how that is possible in a wing filled with tiny babies suffering from Cancer. If you were there, you’d see that it was only filled with happiness and care. Yes, you want to break down and cry in question as to why God would make these beautiful beings suffer like this  but then you lift your head and see Winnie the Pooh ask piglet how to spell love, Piglet tells him you don’t spell love, you FEEL it. I felt only love in that room this morning and not a drop of sadness could touch that place.

The kids came running and their parents watched from the sidelines. Each given a colorful hard cover copy of the best inspirational book I have read. The kids all sat as one and smiled so happily. I promise you, there wasn’t a moment in the entire morning that I couldn’t stop smiling, my jaw hurt: P

This pretty girl began reading to the kids with such enthusiasm; the kids couldn’t help but get engrossed. They watched her every expression with awe as they were taken through the birth and struggles of Maximo the bird. They understood the entire story, they were so attentive, it was unbelievable.

I won’t tell you the story, only because I think each person must come for the readings and get their own experience with their own copy. What I will tell you is that the Max foundation who organize this for the kids and other leukemia patients, do this so brilliantly, they not only give hope to these kids but to you as well.

I learnt about the Max Foundation a couple of years ago when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. I never understood anything about Cancer then. I began to pay attention at the meetings when I was told that one of my best friends and one of my role models has CML. The day I was told, I didn’t understand it. I guess I didn’t want to know till later when my elder brother explained the severity to me. Then I paid attention. Then I wanted to understand this and be the supportive one too. I found a family in the Max Foundation to tell you the truth. It is filled with the best kind of people. They aren’t like the usual folk. They’re always beaming and full of beans. They‘re always laughing, sometimes over the silliest jokes. But believe it or not, you feel included. No matter how tiny you are, you never feel lost. Among this family I like to call my own, there is this phenomenal woman-Amma. One of a kind, people… One of a kind.  The woman is Sunshine not just a ray. She lights up the place and always has this overflowing
love and energy. Sometimes, you can’t help but wonder how she does it. Her energy isn’t the self contained type, it’s the contagious one. Her love, it’s all over. She remembers every small thing done by each person and makes sure they know how thankful she is about it. Appreciation is an understatement. Special is what she makes you feel.

I admire Amma. Today, the way she knew the kids names and asked them what they want to be, paid attention to their answers, applauded them and thanked each of them, was amazing.

She then went on to thank everyone present there including me! The experience alone kept me happy and wanting more. What I think I’m trying to say is, you think that Cancer is this big monster that will destroy you, but that isn’t true especially when you have these people by your side. It makes the Biggest Difference.

Happy Birthday, Max!

Vanessa Vaz, FOM Mumbai