“Together We Share and Learn” in Mumbai

Jun 5 2005

{mosimage} June 5th All India Patient Group Meeting

In an event of unprecedented proportions, more than 800 CML and GIST patients from all regions of India gathered at the Goregaon Sports Club in Mumbai for the largest ever meeting of CML and GIST survivors in the country. This event, sponsored by The Max Foundation, counted among attendees seven of the most prominent hematologists and oncologists in India, as well as hundreds of people living with cancer and their families.
Patients started arriving in Mumbai as early as 5:30 a.m. by overnight trains. They came from as far away as Kashmir in the North to Kerala in the South; from the desert state of Rajasthan in the West all the away across the whole width of the country to Bengal, some of them traveling for nearly 48 hours.

The event was organized by The Max Foundation representatives in India in conjunction with the core volunteer leaders of the patient support group Friends of Max. Friends of Max is a group that originated in 2003 in Mumbai, India. In addition to Mumbai, the group has chapters in the cities of Pune, Kolkotta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigargh, Delhi and Bangalore. They are active not only in the patient to patient area of emotional support but also have begun reaching out to other patient groups in their respective communities, providing help and support as needed.

The objective of the June 5th meeting was to share and learn from each other all kinds of experiences that would give strength and courage to continue the battle against cancer. Testimonials from patients who came up on stage to talk encouraged and motivated the crowd. An hour long discourse on the “Art of Living” gave insight into hidden spiritual resources. And the highlight of the day long event was a three hour physician led panel discussion on CML and GIST. This educational session comprised of questions from the patients regarding disease information and treatment management.

The day ended with music and dancing – all those present were treated to foot tapping popular numbers by a professional group of performers who soon had everyone moving their feet to their wonderful, happy tunes. All in all it was a big success where everyone in the audience learned something new.

The Max Foundation is proud to have sponsored thie event. We promote the formation of patient groups in all regions of the world. It is our belief that local patient groups enhance quality of life by providing sources of emotional support and guidance among patients. It is also a major component in the enhancement of patient compliance.