Report by FOM Volunteer Rishi Arora
Sunday 27 August 2017 was a much awaited day for all M.P. FOM members – the 5th FOM Patient Support Group Meet in M.P. & the 4th of Indore.
As per routine it is always very smooth and punctual. Me, Amma, Anshika & Priyanka reached the venue by 8.30 am and started to get things organized for the upcoming meet in an hours’ time.
Everything went on really smooth and by 9.30 am we had our venue Hotel Apsara all set to get started with the 5th FOM meet. Registration desk was all set and very well managed by the core group members. Breakfast was set side by side as well. After registration, patients and caregivers enjoyed proper Indori nashta with hot tea & coffee. Best part in this meet was that highest no of patients & caregivers 150+ were recorded, once we got the final count by 12.00 P.M (patients kept coming & joining till then).
Around 10.30 am, Dr Chitalkar along with Mrs Mini and resident doctors arrived at the venue and met all members present and Amma warmly. This time this meeting was in association with TYcan which is an initiative by Dr Chitalkar & his team which also works for the betterment of cancer patients. There was a small informal intro of each other near the registration desk and later everyone went in the main hall where the event was about to begin. Everyone was waiting eagerly.
Anshika (Max Station M.P) greeted & welcomed everyone on behalf of Friends of Max followed by the National Anthem. Thereafter she called upon Priyanka who spoke on past meetings of FOM in M.P & its significance. She also encouraged all patients and caregivers to feel free during the Q&A round and ask questions/discuss their problems with the panel of doctors present.
After this Anshika requested Amma to talk about Max Foundation. Amma came and shared and enlightened all present about The Max Foundation and the way it has supported CML & GIST patients since 2004, how it saved many lives by giving mental & medical support. She was a little sad about the fact that now no new patients can be enrolled under the GIPAP programme.
After Amma, J.P Tiwari Uncle from Bhopal who has been an inspiration to many CML survivors shared his positive thoughts.
Thereafter Dr Rakesh Taran & Dr Manish Nema arrived. They were welcomed by FOM members. The meeting began with a formal introduction and then went on to a detailed Q&A session with the Panel Doctors (Dr. Prakash Chitalkar, Dr. Rakesh Taran and Dr. Manish Nema) with Viji Amma beside them. Dr. Rakesh Taran started the session with an amazing thought: why not think of something on the lines of offering needy people with a basic job so that they can afford a living and supplements like milk or fruits (if recommended). He also shared a thought there should be intent to serve the community whole-heartedly. Dr. Manish Nema continued with highlighting the fact that CML is just like any other chronic disease like diabetes or BP. In fact, in certain cases, CML can be cured but diabetes requires lifelong treatment. He expressed the thought that it’s very unfortunate for some patients that Novartis has not been enrolling new patients under any program since last year. He said it’s a real setback for needy patients.
On the same lines, Viji (our dear Amma) shared her dream that she wants to see a day when each and every CML patient, anywhere in the world, is treated for free of cost.
This was followed by a mouth-watering lunch. The patients and their caregivers were handed over the brochures, FAQs booklets, pamphlets & other reference material. For the children there were story books & coloring books. After lunch all the doctors said goodbye and were pleased and happy to be part of this meeting.
Soon after that there was an amazing quiz session. All the present people were divided in 4 groups & out if each group, two members came up to represent their team. Everyone was involved with this quiz and also got to know a lot of important things to apply in practice. The session of almost 90 mins passed really quickly. Then there was another couple of learning sessions. This was followed by a nice high tea and a lot of selfies and picture sessions with both our lovable Amma & new member in Friends of Max family Anshika.
The event was executed successfully and we all FOM members look forward for the next Meet soon.