MaxSmiles, help me celebrate this new patient group

Some of you have already gone through the process of starting a patient group, and some of you are wondering “will I ever be able to do this”. What seems like an impossible, it is not only possible but at the end of the day, quite easy.

Last week, after a year of stress and fear and anxiety and perseverance and leadership, Wirat, our MaxStation in Thailand, was finally able to report that there is a patient group in Thailand.

I paste below from his email, which describes so well the event:

Hi Pat,

I told Angeli on the TC with her and Ning this morning about our third patient support group meeting on last Saturday at the Xavier Hall. There were 11 patients, 13 care givers, Ning and me – from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. I was showing them the photos from Bangalore – Friends of Max meeting. My patient were asking if we could have something like Indian team, and ‘yes’ was my answer. I told them I need a team work to do that and I will help to do that. Then I get to the point why we need to get together.

I hand out the form for each patient and care givers the form for voting for the group name. There are suggested names (including ‘orange moon’), mottos, vision and activities. I told them that they can choose what they like and suggest what they this is good. One patient came up with an idea that we are ‘Siam’ which means ‘Smile’ how about our group name ‘Max Smiles’. I like the name and ask everyone to write it down for the forth choices. The other patient come up with ‘New life’ then the first patient make it as a motto ‘New life, new friends and new experience’. There are part of the form for them to write down what do they feel about this meeting. I collected the forms after we have group consoling (which was so great).

I came back home to read the note and count the vote. They wrote some note say they agree to have this kind of meeting once a month – to keep in touch and to encourage each other and looking for more group activities. For the group name… yes, they go for ‘Max Smiles’ and the motto is ‘New life, new friends and new experience’. I am so happy that the group name – motto are really come from them. I have got the TMF newsletter this morning, and the first page is really fit well with my patient group name. I hope to develop a logo which will represent our group. I will announce the group name, motto, vision, mission and activities by next meeting – hope to have everything printed on hard copy.

My core group also building quietly, no one was volunteer for earlier stage. I point out people who talented on each skill would make the group run. We agree to have meeting on the thirs Satureday of every month. We hope to grow as we go – no matter how long will it take and big we going to be.

Sorry for long story… Just want to let you know that our patient support group is born…

Maximum Smiles : )

Best regards,

Wirat Sae-Kuai

Photos: Wirat during workshop in amazement of Tagging training; Wirat meeting Beena (MaxIndia) and Asher (MaxPakistan); and Wirat with core group of patients in India (he was quickly “adopted” by the Friends of Max).
We are still waiting for photos of the patient event in Thailand…

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