Friends of Max’s Patient Advocate of the Month for June 2022 is Aditya Dhanawat, our City Chapter Leader from Mumbai.
Aditya was an all-rounder from an early age, participating in debates and sports competitions alike. He matriculated from the prestigious Loyola School, Bhubaneshwar with an aggregate of 97%. “I am very fortunate to be born to parents who have taken great care in giving me a good education and a healthy life”, says Aditya.
After high school, Aditya decided to make a career in medical science. Consequently, he completed his MBBS from SCB Medical College, Cuttack and MD from Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar. Further, he completed an HBNI fellowship in solid tumour oncology from Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, where he is currently pursuing a DM in Medical Oncology.
In 2008, Aditya’s father, Omprakash Agarwal was diagnosed with CML. The family was then introduced to the drug Glivec and The Max Foundation by Omprakash’s treating physician, Dr MB Agarwal. “Everything seemed to work out one after another as if it was destined that way”, says Aditya, remembering the support he received from the Max Foundation, “Amma has been a strong pillar of support for my entire family, helping us tide through those days of storm. Sudha Samineni has been a great person to go-to for all kinds of queries and support”.
Aditya’s father, Omprakash Agarwal popularly known by everyone as O P – has been an active volunteer for Friends of Max since the early days. He was one of the first volunteers of FOM’s Odisha Chapter and continues to be a pillar of support for FOM’s patient interventions in the region. Omprakash actively participates in every Support Group Meeting organized in Odisha helping the Max team call patients in the state informing them about upcoming events and also addresses and motivates the crowds present there.
Aditya has also made it a point to attend every FOM City Chapter meeting in Odisha. During his college days, he would make his presence felt at these meetings even during his exams. He has participated in the workshops, written meeting reports and interacted with the patients on a personal level, sharing his experience as a caregiver to his father and resolving their doubts.
Speaking about his relationship with the Friends of Max, he says, “I have always felt that I am a part of the FOM family. Amma and her teammates at FOM been so warm and welcoming”. Most recently, he participated as a member of the expert panel at the Patient Support Group Meeting organized at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai on 5th June.
Aditya always had an inclination towards social work. In his school days, he was involved in various community activities like helping the needy with essential commodities and teaching under-privileged children. In college, Aditya and his friends regularly visited an old-age home and spent time there with the elderly. Aditya has a message of positivity for all our readers. Quoting Oprah Winfrey, he says, “Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world”. He adds, “Be positive, folks! Every cloud does have a silver lining. The positivity in you shall enable you to adhere to treatment and will also help bring smiles to your caregivers who love you so much!”