Our Patient Advocates for the month of September 2023 are Yogiraj, Suniti & Krishnadas Dhake, the dynamic family who serve as City Chapter Leaders in Pune
Yogiraj grew up in a small town called Savada in the Jalgoan district of Maharashtra. He studied in secondary school and then went on to complete his Production Engineering degree at the prestigious VJTI College under Mumbai University.
Fondly reminiscing about his childhood, Yogiraj recalls playing traditional Indian games and enjoying a carefree, healthy life. He joined Mahindra and Mahindra in 1989, where he dedicated most of his career.
In 2007, Yogiraj began experiencing health challenges. Goaded on by his colleagues and family, he decided to undergo a complete health check-up. Following numerous consultations with doctors, hospital visits, and a bone marrow report, his diagnosis was clear- CML. Upon the recommendation of his treating physician, he was introduced to Dr M.B Agarwal, who in turn advised him to get in touch with The Max Foundation and Friends of Max. The pivotal moment occurred in August 2007. Since then, Yogiraj remains grateful to Novartis and The Max Foundation for their unwavering support, particularly the magic tablet – Glivec. Thanks to this treatment, he, along with countless other patients, can lead lives that are remarkably close to normal.
Today Yogiraj is actively supported by his wife Suniti, son Krishnadas, daughter-in-law Komal, and daughter Kalyani in all FOM-related activities. As a family, they serve as exemplary FOM Patient Leaders, diligently raising awareness about CML and generously sharing their experiences with fellow survivors. They are integral members of the Pune FOM family, playing important roles in planning, organising, and execution of numerous Chai for Cancer Addas, regional Patient Support Group Meetings, and Leadership Summits. The Dhake family readily extends their support to Mumbai meetings and Chai for Cancer Addas.
For Yogiraj, FOM is like an extended family. He takes pride in its achievements and is always available whenever his support is needed.
Their advice to CML patients is:
Based on our experience, we strongly believe that instead of avoiding or ignoring cancer symptoms, we should carefully observe and study them. It’s crucial to stay aware of any changes in our health. However, it’s equally important not to let stress and anxiety about your condition overwhelm you. Lastly, we highly recommend regular checkups with an expert physician as an effective way to manage CML.