The Friends of Max in Ahmedabad

Dec 9 2005

{mosimage} The Gujarat Cancer Research Institute (GCRI) is one of the largest treatment centers for cancer in the Western region of India, catering to patients from four neighbor states. In GIPAP more than 600 active patients are registered under the care of physicians from GCRI, likely the highest number of patients of any other centre.
Their director, Dr Pankaj Shah, was one of the senior oncologists who attended the June 5th Meeting in Mumbai. Impressed by the attendance and the events of the day, he announced right there that in December his institution would organize an event of similar proportions for the patients in his region. A majority of the patients taken care of in GCRI come from a rural, lower socio-economic group and speak only Gujarati, the language spoken in Gujarat. His objective was to get these patients together and provide them with the advantages of attending such a program, conducted in Gujarati, closer to home and easier for them to afford the travel costs involved.

Invitations were drafted, printed and sent out to all patients of the Centre. The patients seen by the clinic’s 10 physicians were included. The stockist in Ahmedabad was of great help facilitating the invitations. Karuna Kare, a non profit organization in Ahmedabad, provides voluntary services to GCRI. This generous organization offered their assistance. They handled the printing of invitations and contacting all patients, printing booklets of FAQ, translating / printing the booklet created for the June 5th meeting and on the day of the meeting they provided registration and supervision of attendance. GIPAP recipient, one of the founder members of Karuna Kare took the initiative and his volunteers did a tremendous job. Unfortunately he had to be in Chennai on the day of the patient event but met up with us on December 10th.

GCRI hosted the event, providing audio visual aids necessary for the program and refreshments and lunch for all those who attended the meeting.

Program: Welcome by GCRI
• Q& A Session
• Address by Dr Pankaj Shah – very informal and welcoming, set the informal and friendly tone of the meeting
• Patient testimonials
• Introduction of all the GCRI Physicians, Coordinators and Laboratory personnel
• Formal launching of Friends of Max Gujarat Chapter (Lighting of lamp by Patient, GCRI and TMF representative)
• TMF presentation
• Vote of thanks

Novartis was represented by Mr. Tyagi and Susheel Miskeen, the Oncology team member who works out of Ahmedabad.