Our Patient Advocate for the month of October 2020 is FOM Trustee and City Chapter Leader from Delhi – Shyam Kankani , fondly known as “Shyam Bhaiyya.” He is a caregiver to his brother Neel Kankani, a FOM Kolkata City Chapter Leader.
Hailing from Kolkata, Shyam Bhaiyya graduated from Calcutta University with B. Com (Honors). He then pursued his education further to become a Chartered Accountant.
Along with FOM, he is associated with several NGOs and NPOs such as Maheshwari Sewa Trust, Rajasthan Association, Maheswari Mandal, Laghu Udyog Bharati and Federation of Indian Industry, to name a few. Through these organizations, he is involved in different kinds of activities done throughout the year, including but not limited to blood donation, food donation drive, informative talk shows, scholarship programs for the under-privileged.
Shyam Bhaiyya’s journey with FOM began at an all India level meeting held at AIIMS, which gave rise to a team of volunteers from NCR regions whose task was to find about new CML cases and discuss their current situation at the meetings. “This was the baby phase of what is now the most popular chapter of FOM India,” he says.
Reminiscing one of his fondest memories at FOM, he says, “About 15 years back I met a family whose son was suffering from CML. The family was really depressed and I decided to talk to them and share my experience with them. We welcomed them into the FOM family and showed them that there are many others who are fighting with a smile. We gave them the support and encouragement they needed and I still remember they danced with the whole FOM family till their feet gave up.”
Shyam Bhaiyya has an immense love for cricket and plays the sport regularly. Apart from sports, he enjoys singing. He is also a good orator and has hosted several programs for different organizations he is associated with along with anchoring shows occasionally.
His message to fellow caregivers and patients is positive and inspiring-“To the caregivers, I would just like to salute them for all that they’re doing and would just encourage them to keep doing the great deed. To the patients, I just want to say that it’s tough, but that’s life. Life is a beautiful gift and they should enjoy it each and every single day. As they say, “Babumoshai…..zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye…”; Life should be large, not necessarily long, so focus on making it large!”