Dinesh Kumar

Our Friends of Max Patient Advocate of the Month for the month of April 2023 is Dinesh Kumar, our City Chapter Leader from Bihar.

Mind over Matter

Growing up in a big joint family in the Frazer Road locality of Patna, Dinesh fondly remembers his childhood as of one carefree and happy days. He completed his higher secondary from the B.N. College, affiliated to the Patna University.

In 2006, after bouts of recurring fever, his CBC and Bone Marrow tests confirmed his CML diagnosis. The news was devastating for his family. He was only eighteen years old. He was not told of his condition initially but soon he realized something was not quite right. Not one to take it lying down he decided to take the bull by its horns. The next day, on his own he visited Dr B.C. Jha, his family General Physician, and learnt of his condition.

The reality of facing a life-threatening condition at such a young age was overwhelming for him but he knew for the sake of his family and loved ones, he had to face it with positivity and courage. Gathering strength and on his doctor’s advice he came to the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai with his family and met Dr. Hari Menon, Head of Department, Oncology. After another round of CBC and Bone Marrow tests, he was put on ‘Glivec’ and asked to get in touch with Viji and The Max Foundation at their Worli office.

His first meeting with Viji (fondly referred to as Amma), he recalls so clearly- all pent-up emotions that he had so bravely been holding up so far, just gave way. But in that instant, he also knew that the unwavering support of Amma and The Max team would help him tide over the not so pleasant days. He was ready for the fight ahead. It was at the Max office that he was introduced to Friends of Max (FOM), the support group for patients like him. 

The rest as they say is history. Today Dinesh plays an active part in the Bihar FOM chapter. Along with the other city chapter leaders he has helped organise 13 patient support meetings in Patna in as many years. Together, they provide inspiration to other cancer survivors, and show them that is possible to overcome the disease and live a fulfilling life. He is always available to provide any help needed. He recalls with pride supporting a paediatric patient from a not so financially strong background, with guidance and practical assistance that made all the difference to the family during that difficult time.  

His advice to CML patients is:

“लाइफ में कठिनाईयां तो आती रहेंगीं, उनका सामना भी करना पड़ेगा | आप हिम्मत रखो और बाकि के लिए तो अम्मा और फ्रेंड्स ऑफ़ मैक्स हैं हीं”!

“Difficulties will keep coming in life, they will also have to be faced. You have courage and for the rest there is Amma and Friends of Max”!