Report by Tamanna Kajal
The Max Foundation represented by Viji Venkatesh (chair person) to create awareness for CML patients and their advocates, held a support group meeting at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur on 13th Nov. 2016. It was almost a dream come true for me because it was the first ever meeting for me. FOM is a common station in every patient’s life where they will get to meet people of similar types. They help survivors live a positive and productive life.
After arriving at the venue, I went to the auditorium with my mum and there she was, the ever gorgeous Viji Amma. She is truly magical, the whole tiredness just changed into a new level of energy when she hugged me with a cute smile. Then there was a photo session with Amma with a lot of joy. She helped me in understanding the role of a volunteer as it was my first meeting. Then we set our registration counter and welcomed lots of patients. No matter how far they come from, they always carry a smile and meet each other like friends and family. At registration we distributed the color cards along with names, booklets, notepads and wrist bands to every patient.
The were other NGO’s present like Cancer Care of Bhagwat Mahawir Cancer Hospital and Research Center represented by Dr Lalit Mohan Sharma, TYACAN by Dr Prakash Chitalkar, St.Jude’s by Miss Vinita Singh, Sanjivani by Miss Archita Verma to talk about their activities.
Then we all had lunch together. Excellent arrangements had been made for lunch. The programme kicked off after the national anthem.
Then in the hall Dr Prakash Chitalkar after addressing the crowd, invited Viji Amma who briefed all about The Max Foundation and the magic bullet “Glivec”. Then Viji Amma gave her presentation on Friends’ Of Max. She spoke to all the guests about different activities and campaigns of F.O.M. Amma spoke on the most important topic which was compliance in taking the drug. Then Q&A session started between patients and the doctors. The whole panel responded to the questions very well. The doctors: Dr Hemant Malhotra, Dr Lalit and Dr Prakash responded to the questions with clear answers. I’m very sure all of us who attended the meeting had a great knowledge from this session.
Then came the story-sharing session. By their stories of struggling and hope, we all were inspired a lot. In these meetings, patients got a chance to talk to others and feel that they were not the only ones to fight with the disease. They shared their perception towards life that also enhanced their confidence. The meeting ended with many group selfies. Then we wrapped up the day sipping chai with Amma. We were enjoying a lot when Amma sang old songs beautifully. I am really thankful to all these people for a wonderful meeting. The Max Foundation provides the best opportunity of treatment and of surviving his/her cancer and getting on with the life of his/ her dreams and achievements to the fullest potential.
Living without fear is the greatest thing in life and after this meeting I can say there is no place to focus on fear or judgement anymore.
I hope Max Foundation helps as many people as possible. My heartiest thanks to Viji Amma and best wishes for the Foundation.