Report by FOM Volunteer Aakash Agrawal
On 28th Jan’18, I attended Patient support camp meeting which was organized for CML and GIST survivors by MAX FOUNDATION and Friends of Max. It was held at the auditorium of Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. In this meeting, members of Friends of Max and patients living nearby were present with their family members. My father is suffering from CML so me and my mother accompanied him in the meeting. Honorable Viji Venkatesh who is the Region Head, India and South Asia of MAX FOUNDATION, popular as Amma ji among the patients, attended the meeting. Dr Vikas Goyal, well-known oncologist, was specially present at the meeting to address the audience.
The meeting was inaugurated with the National Anthem. After this, we remembered Mr. MAX, on the name of whom MAX FOUNDATION was established. After few moments, Learning program based on CML and GIST occurring in different parts of our country was shown to us with the help of visuals. In these visuals, we saw some doctors and patients sharing their experiences. Visual showed some patients who told that how they are living their life like other normal persons with the help of Glivec, a medicine. After the display of visuals, the question hour segment began. The patients and their family members asked some questions to Dr. Vikas Goyal related to their problems and also told him about their increasing curiosity towards the disease. Some patients were also panic. On the other hand, Dr. Vikas Goyal gave answers to the questions with simplicity and spontaneity. He told that the patients shouldn’t be so curious and they shouldn’t panic. He said that the patients should take their medicines on regular basis. He further added that the patients should consult their doctors on a regular basis and hence follow their advice which would help them to live a normal life. Vikas Goyal concluded with those kind words and said that the patients can contact him so that they can discuss their problems with him. Hence, lunch break declared. We had our lunch.
After the lunch break, we were full of energy. Amma ji told us that MAX FOUNDATION is helping those patients who couldn’t pay their medical expenses. She further added that even we can help those patients by organizing a ‘Chai Par Cancer‘ program. Then, Amma ji hosted a quiz based on CML and GIST, in which even the family members participated. There were 4 teams in the quiz, me and my mother were in the same team while my father was in the different team. I gave some answers and Amma ji applauded me that made my day but my team couldn’t be the winning team. On the other hand, my father gave good answers to most of the questions asked in the quiz and hence his team won the quiz. The quiz was very helpful as we got some knowledge about CML and GIST. We were enjoying while playing the quiz – so it was joyful experience too.
When the quiz got over, some patients came in front and they shared their experiences that how MAX FOUNDATION and Amma ji helped them to live a normal life. The meeting was concluded with the song “We Shall Overcome One Day” that motivates everyone. Then, we all had tea and some snacks.
At the end, everyone bid goodbye to each other with the hope meeting each other soon.