Report by FOM Volunteer Soumya
FOM participated in a Patient Support Group Meeting organised by St John’s Medical College Hospital (Bangalore) at their auditorium on 25 February 2017. This started with a kick-off meeting which happened at Das Prakash Hotel on 26 January with the initial agenda set by Param & Ashika where all FOM volunteers were assigned a list of survivors and caregivers whom we had to contact to inform about the Meet. We had lots of talks, chats & also a briefing by Param & Roopa about the FOM Leadership Summit (which was held in Kochi on 17-18 Dec 2016) for the people who missed out.
Each FOM volunteer took the initiative to contact survivors and caregivers and informed them about the meet in Bangalore & the benefits of attending such meetings. We had the registrations open for the survivors & the caregivers who were keen about attending this meet and were provided with the CML/GIST FAQs and PCR FAQs. Opening the meet we had Viji Amma, Fr Paul and Dr. Cecil Ross lighting the diya followed by a prayer by the sisters from St John’s Medical College. Amma thanked all the participants for attending the meet.
Dr. Cecil Ross spoke about the various stages of a CML diagnosis & the treatments which are mandatory for CML survivors. There was an interactive Q&A session which was addressed by Dr Cecil Ross and Dr Hari Menon as they answered all the questions put in by the patients & the caregivers. All the participants were given an opportunity to speak to the doctors & answer their queries and we would specially thank these doctors for taking time out to attend the meet. And of course Viji Amma, who will always be our inspiration, provided moral support for all the participants. There was a free BCR ABL test done for all the survivors which was an initiative by St John’s Medical College Hospital. There was a Vote of Thanks followed by lunch.
We had two counsellors from Cytecare Hospital who joined this meet to understand more about FOM and showed interest in conducting a Chai for Cancer fundraiser in their hospital.
A small meet with Amma about this year’s agenda & the Chai for Cancer fundraiser events to be held in Bangalore concluded this wonderful event. Our special thanks to The Max Foundation for their great support to make this event successful.