Our Patient Advocate of the Month for March 2021 is Sr Shalet D’souza.
Shalet grew up in Palimer city, in Udupi District, Karnataka. She completed her education from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore. She grew up with four sisters, who are all well settled in various cities – Mumbai, Udupi and Abu Dhabi.
Shalet was instrumental in the establishment of Friends of Max’s Mangalore City Chapter and actively participates in all the meetings held in Mangalore. She tries her best to give encouragement to cancer patients to accept the sickness and offers to help in her own capacity in coping with life.
Shalet has been associated with Friends of Max and The Max Foundation for the last ten years. She recollects, “The approach of FOM was friendly, understanding, accepting and encouraging. Initially, I was afraid of my illness and thought that I would die soon. The Annual Meetings that were conducted were really enriching. The Question and Answer sessions gave me clarity and hope. The sharing of patient testimonies who had lived with CML for over 25 years strengthened me to face life courageously.”
Besides Friends of Max, Shalet is also an active member of the NGO “Sparsha” where she works on spreading cancer awareness and helping the needy. In her pastime she likes reading, gardening, playing music, writing articles, visiting families, etc.
When asked if she has any special memories during her time with Friends of Max, she says, “Once there was an issue regarding my name, due to which I was not able to get my medicines. Ashika from the Max team immediately reached out and by contacting the right persons, she made sure the problem was taken care of. I truly felt cared and this experience made me feel that I belong to the Max family and that they are really concerned for my well-being.”
Shalet is currently rendering her services as a Novice Directress in the “Congregation of the Sisters” of “Little Flower of Bethany” at Rosa Mystica Novitate, Kinnikambla. About FOM’s conduct during the pandemic, she says, “In recent pandemic times too, Max has come up with new initiatives. They have taken the trouble to organize online webinars and taken care to see that we all may benefit from it. I wish many more people join us and show the world a Humane Face of God irrespective of caste, creed or religion.” Shalet has a very humble message for all our patients and caregivers, “I am very grateful to The Max Foundation for providing medicine and for the friendly approach of the coordinators and their support. God is in control of our life. He is a loving Father so with trust, we can face our life by living one day at a time. May we become a source of inspiration in accepting illness joyfully and be a blessing in the lives of others.”