Friends of Max Patient Advocates of the Month are Monica and Sanjay, our City Chapter Leaders from Delhi
Monica and Sanjay, a husband-wife team from Delhi, talk about how doing volunteer work at Friends of Max has made a difference in their personal & professional lives. Below are excerpts about their early life, how they came into contact with Friends of Max and how the experience has made them grow and acquire new skills.
Monica and Sanjay, met Friends of Max volunteers, while her mother was being treated at Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in Delhi around 2010. They learnt about the unique Chai for Cancer and other initiatives being done by FOM benefitting CML and GIST patients. In Monica’s own words, “When I met Amma, her enthusiasm for the cause inspired me to join them.”
Both remember their childhood as being fun-loving and blessed; for Monica, most weekends were spent out with family, looking forward to her summer vacations when she would visit her maternal grandmother in Amritsar. It was a fun time among the family and good food. On the other hand, Sanjay spent his time playing cricket and watching TV.
After completing her graduation from Gokul Das College in Moradabad, Monica pursued Naturopathy in Delhi. She then met Sanjay, a graduate of SRCC, Delhi University, and they were married in 1992.
Monica is grateful to her supportive husband, mother-in-law and two daughters. Along with volunteering at Friends of Max, Monica is also busy running the Urmil Puri Foundation, which promotes menstrual hygiene. The foundation is in the loving memory of her mother.
Monica and Sanjay have fond memories and satisfaction from their volunteering journey at FOM. For Monica, it is the happiness and smiles on everyone’s face. For Sanjay, it is the satisfaction and assurance he sees in the patients.
Today, ten years later, they continue to be helpful and forthcoming and very actively engaged in all activities, whether it is helping with the Chai for Cancer Addas, or patient support meetings. Monica being an artist also helps to design marketing material for Friends of Max.
Their advice to CML patients is:
Have patience, be assured, and be regular with your medication and visits. You have a magic bullet in Glivec with you and you have the complete support of FOM volunteers and overall love and & ‘jaadu ki japphi’ from Amma. Take good care of their health, physically and mentally.