Garima Jain

Friends of Max’s Patient Advocate for the month of December 2022 is our City Chapter Leader from Madhya Pradesh, Garima Jain.

Garima grew up in Shahgarh, a village 72Kms from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. An inquisitive mind and a thirst to learn drew her to engineering and then MSc in Physics. Today, as a teacher she imparts her knowledge to young minds studying in the 11th & 12th standard. 

In the year 2002, Garima was diagnosed with CML. She was only ten years old and had no idea why she was taken to hospitals. She started her treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and the sweet natured physicians there referred her parents to The Max Foundation. She recalls that her family struggled initially due to language barriers since none of them understood English. Luckily their relatives helped them in submitting the relevant documents to be included in the assistance program. Amidst the chaos of diagnosis and treatment, they felt a strong wave of relief after meeting Amma (Viji Venkatesh)

Garima met other CMLers for the first time in 2005 at the support group meeting organised by the Max Foundation – the first All India FOM Meet in Mumbai. She was a teenager then and had just understood her diagnosis and this meeting gave her a chance to interact with others, clear innumerable queries and feel cared for. This is also her special memory of Friends of Max.

That meeting started her long association with the organization. Since then, she has attended all the events held in Madhya Pradesh, her home state and is an active participant. She has never shied away from sharing her experiences and feels this is essential for all the newly diagnosed patients. She says, ‘The way I felt at my first support group meeting, I will ensure that patients who join for the first time feel the same’. It gives her immense joy in helping fellow patients overcome the fear of the disease.

Garima has a message of hope for our readers. She says “Yes, Imatinib is a magic bullet but that works only with the catalyst of self-belief. Positive mindset is of utmost importance and life should be cherished. Take every moment as it comes, don’t rush, and overthink”