Mumbai Friends of Max Meeting

{mosimage}July 12th 2009

As a new volunteer to the Friends of Max team, I was both excited and nervous to experience my first meeting. I had no idea how the whole thing would work, or what the process would be. I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked into a room of people eating breakfast and joking around. I was introduced to a group of happy, friendly people and then our day began.


After helping with registration,( we registered 185 participants) we all filed into the auditorium for the introduction by Amma. The emphasis was on good compliance and the presentation included some thought provoking slides on the need and importance of being regular in follow up and paying close attention to the doctors’ advice. This was followed by a question/answer and testimonial session. This was an important part of the meeting, where patients had the opportunity to raise queries about the medication and the illness in general. Since most of this was in Hindi, I didn’t understand everything that was said but the results were evident: patients were asking important questions and sharing their personal experiences. People were nodding their heads and paying close attention; it was obviously a very informative time. The Panel included Dr Kumar Prabash , Medical Oncologist from Tata Memorial Hospital as well as some of the Friends of Max Volunteers who shared their experiences and insights .

After the question and answer session, it was time for lunch. This was followed by a motivational speaker who took the floor for the afternoon. I was extremely curious to see how the patients would respond to the speaker, especially after the amazing lunch we all had had. But there were no sleepers in the crowd and again, the results were clear. Patients and volunteers seemed to thoroughly enjoy the speaker, and were responding well to his words. He had an interesting style of speaking that everyone could relate to. The best part of his presentation was how he used interactive methods to further his points. There were a few games and mind tricks that showed people how to think outside of the box. I learned that no matter what age, everyone enjoys playing games J. 

After the session ended, there was a clear feeling of contentment in the air. People were satisfied with their day and seemed to get a lot out of the meeting. Patients were so happy to see Amma, Ayeshah, Sharon, Gita and Vidya as well as all of the other Friends of Max Volunteers. Throughout the day the environment was warm and supportive, which is ideal for these types of meetings.

Reported by Nicole Kapadia