Patient Group Meeting @ Mangalore, 30 March

Report by FOM Volunteer Deepak

The CML and GIST support group meeting was held at Mangalore on 30 March in association with the Mangalore Institute of Oncology.

The event was organised in Mangalore Institute of Oncology (MIO) premises near the entrance of the hospital itself. Elaborate arrangements were made to seat at least 150 – 200 people. The event started with the registration process, where all the guests were welcomed by Ms. Beena Narayanan and Ms. Ashika. The registration of the patients and the care givers were enrolled and the goodies were given to them by Friends of Max members Mujib, Sajeev, Vikram, Deepak and Shyalaja Shankar. Refreshments and breakfast were served to all the guests who arrived at the venue.

The event then stated with a welcome address by Mr Anantha Krishnan, President of MIO. He welcomed all the guests and The Max foundation members. He created an awareness about how patients were misguided about alternate medicines. He went on to talk about how allopathy medicines have advanced in the area of Cancer research.

The Chief guest was then invited to speak on the occasion he was Dr. Suresh Rao, Director of MIO. He spoke about The MAX Foundation’s dedicated selfless service to the society and MIO is proud to be associated with The MAX Foundation to serve more cancer patients.

Ashika then invited Beena to present on The MAX Foundation. Since the audience where a mix of Kannada and Malayalam speaking people, it was decided that Beena would present in Malayalam and Ashika would interpret the same in Kannada. The presentation started with how The Max Foundation was started and the touching story of Max was told in detail to the audience. Then she spoke on the vision and mission of Max foundation. Introduced Amma who is the force behind every one in Max foundation India. The audience was excited to see Amma’s photograph dressed in a stunning red saree sitting with a group of cancer patients. Beena reassured all the patients of continued and complete support by Max on the patient assistant programme now and in the future also.

After that informative presentation, Shankar, FOM City Chapter Leader from Bangalore was called to explain about the Friends of Max. Shankar spoke in Kannada which was translated in Malayalam by Beena. He explained what is the role of Friends of Max and why it is was formed and how the meetings were organised etc. Also, the audience were told how to go about the registration to the Friends of Max. Chai for Cancer fund raising event was also explained in detail.

Next, Dr. Krishna Prasad was invited to talk. He spoke about the wonder drug Glivec and how it has helped several CML patients to live a normal life. He also thanked The Max Foundation and Amma for their selfless service to the society. He also thanked Beena and Ashika for making this event a grand success. He mentioned that he has not seen any other patient assistance programme that was supporting patients like Max.

Dr. Dinesh Shet then addressed the gathering. He spoke in Kannada about the CML disease and the stages of CML. He gave very valuable suggestion on how to handle the side effects like vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle Cramps, Vitamin D deficiency etc.

After this the floor was open for the Question and Answer session which was promptly answered by Dr. Krishna Prasad and Dr. Dinesh Shet.
Then we listen to heart touching testimonies by Friends of Max members and other CML survivors. Ashok Kashyap, Vikram, Mujeeb, Deepak and Shanker shared their experiences.

Post lunch session started with Quiz on CML and GIPAP program which was more of a knowledge gaining experience for the audience.

The program ended with a Vote of Thanks by Ashok Kashyap. The only thing everyone missed in this meeting was a warm hug from Amma and her positive energy.