The month of July is observed globally as “Sarcoma Awareness Month”. As Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) is the most common type of sarcoma, we wanted to align with this established celebration in order to bring attention to this rarest group of cancers we find in our midst. For this reason, this month, Friends of Max is recognizing the contributions of not one, but four Patient Advocates from our family of GISTers.
RASHMI SACHADE (Mumbai)
Rashmi Sachade is one of Friends of Max’s most active City Chapter Leaders. Always energetic and highly involved, she makes it a point to be a part of every FOM and Chai for Cancer event organized in Mumbai.
About her experience with FOM, Rashmi says, “I always feel great when I do something for my fellow patients – whether it is calling patients for meetings, giving a speech, making a post for GIST Awareness Day, helping organize a Chai for Cancer Adda, or simply talking to a patient. Doing these activities gives me extra energy, strength and happiness.”
NANDINI DABBIR (Hyderabad)
Nandini has been associated with Friends of Max since 2013. She makes sure to attend all the meetings organized in Hyderabad and has made great friends with many in the group who are always around to help, share and care.
Nandini says, “Today, I sit in the comfort of my home. reminiscing about the past. The courage, strength and ability to face adversities in the past decade and a half has made me practical and compassionate. My journey with GIST is a testimony to the newly diagnosed patients. Being a patient advocate and working with Friends of Max, I am able to spread cheer and confidence amongst the patients.”
VASAMVADA SHUKLA (Mumbai)
Vasamvada Shukla has been an important part of Friends of Max since its inception. In fact, she and her daughters were a part of the group of patients, caregivers and volunteers that came up with the idea of starting a support group in Mumbai.
“Friends of Max is a platform for caring and sharing. It is heartening to see patients and caregivers sharing their experiences with each other. These meetings are a source of strength for everyone. It is so endearing to see everyone bond instantaneously and learn from each other. I am yet to attend a meeting that has not ended on an inspiring note. When I attend such meetings, I see the motto of FOM fully achieved & fulfilled,” she says.
BHARAT BHUSHAN (Delhi)
Bharat Bhushan has been a part of Friends of Max since 2004. He has helped set up the FOM Delhi City Chapter. He is a regular and steadfast supporter of Chai for Cancer and FOM events in Delhi.
He shares an encouraging message with fellow patients in a poetic way –
Don’t fear the CML/GIST,
Life becomes Better,
When “GLIVEC” twists,
To the CML/GIST,
MAX punches with Fist.
Long Live MAX.