Year-end Meet & Greet -Report by Yogiraj Dhake

At the Year-end Meet & Greet event organized by The Max Foundation and Friends of Max in Mumbai, FOM City Chapter Leader from Pune –Yogiraj Dhake was interviewed and asked to share his views

Q1. How important are such gatherings for patients?

I feel these meetings are very important, especially for patients/caregivers who are from smaller towns as they do not have the means to get all the information. This is the best way to get facts from physicians, fellow patients, and caregivers. These meetings also boost the morale of all those who attend them. The participants feel connected after meeting people who are going through a similar situation. 

Q2.  How do you think FOM as a support group has enabled this rare cancer to have a voice on a global platform? 

Thanks to the regular patient support group meetings which have helped in creating awareness and understanding not only amongst patients but the general public as well. The information shared in these meetings helps the patients to understand their diagnosis and gives them the necessary tool to have a voice.  

Q3. What according to you are the achievements or high points of 2022 for FOM? Also, can you talk about the future expectations from FOM 

Through the pandemic, the Trustees, and City Chapter Leaders have maintained a good connection with all the patients and ensured support to them in whatever way possible.

Expectations for the future – Expectations for the future-Now that we are in the post-pandemic era, I would want the regional support group meetings to start full-fledged. This way we will be able to reach those patients whom we could not because they did not have means to attend the online meetings. FOM provides support to a lot of patients, and I hope it continues to expand its reach this coming year as there are still so many patients who are unaware of FOM as a support group.

Q4. Since this meeting was held in a different location and combined an Adda with it, how did you find this different approach?

Combining the meeting with an Adda was a good idea, achieving two objectives (meeting and fundraising) at the same time. This approach provided an opportunity for more one-on-one interactions between the Max team, FOM city chapter leaders, and any prospective CFC donor. Choosing a location different from the regular ones will certainly create some lasting memories.

Q5. Any year-end message for the readers 

My message for everyone is to work towards being happy. The coming year can be full of suspense or surprises, and I only wish for everyone to tackle whatever comes their way bravely and with a smile on their face.