- By FOM Rashmi Sachade
Today I am writing about one of my most favourite event, the GIST Patient Support Group Meeting.
It was on 19th February, at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, and I had as usual reached before 9:00 am. Slowly, our GIST family members coming and were met with Ameya’s never-fading smile. We then started the process of registration, which translated into greeting each other with hugs and an impromptu photo session.
Once we had all gathered in the hall and stood for the national anthem, Dr. Nikhil Guhagarkar, the Pride of our FOM group, who had attended the SPEAN meet that happened in Greece this year, gave us a small session giving us major insights into the same.
Do you know what happens when one Hero talks about another Hero? It is the purest, most power packed and inspirational speech. Our role model Viji Maa spoke about Vandana Gupta, another inspiring lady, congratulating her for completing 25 years of the VCare program in India. A lady of iron will, Vandanaji started her journey with Cancer patients 25 years ago, and has worked tirelessly ever since.
It was then time for our guest from Sarcoma Patients Euronet, Germany, Markus Wartenberg, to share his experience with us. He especially spoke about the Localised, Metatistic or progressive GIST treatment at the international level. It was very knowledgeable.
Mrs. Vasamvada Shukla and Mr. Pradeep have been with our GIST programme for the longest time. So next we invited them to talk about their journey with cancer that had over the years inspired a lot of other, newer patients to share their stories in turn.
Next we had an entire session of question and answers headed by Dr. Amit Gupta from the Tata Memorial Hospital and Dr. Rohit Pai from the Bombay Hospital. They not only patiently answered all our queries but were smiling and encouraging us the entire time. Sometimes, some people can put you at ease only with their presence and these doctors did just that for us.
I was given the opportunity to give the vote of thanks and I am really, really grateful that I could be amongst all these wonderful people and thank them for everything.
Bas, Hatho mein hath ho, Apno ka saath ho, To jeeno ko aur kya chaiye!
As we came to the end of our session, with promises to meet each other soon we headed towards the lunch section. Lunch as always was less about the food and more about chitt chatting, laughter and more photographs.