Maximize Life Campaign Events in Kenya

October has come and gone but one thing for sure is the
impact that the Maximize life events held have had on the patients, their
caregivers and the public in general.
First Maximize event was on 8th October 2016 at
Nakuru Hospice which give palliative care to cancer patients.  The Hospice provide pain management
medication, colostomy bags and artificial breasts that are usually donated to
the Hospice by well-wishers.  The patients also get a meal when they visit the hospice for monthly supply besides receiving a
checkup.  They also have regular
psycho-social meetings for the patients and their caregivers.
Very powerful testimonies were shared by survivors of liver,
breast, colon, ovarian and skin cancers.

The second Maximize event was on 21st October
2016  by Childhood Cancer Initiative at
the children’s ward in the largest public referral hospital, Kenyatta National
Hospital.  It was refreshing to watch as
children and their parents/caregiver laugh and play despite their
condition.  There was entertainment by
acrobats and a local Gospel musician and they indeed had a good time.  The children were also given gifts.
  

The third event as a walk held on 22nd October
2016 by GIPAP patients support group Henzo Kenya which ended with patients
sharing on their experiences.  A special
guest, a patient who is living with HIV from 1999, has had her womb removed due
to ovarian cancer and is using a colostomy bag due to Colon cancer was invited
to give her testimony.  The patients and
caregivers were very moved and encouraged by her story and this gave them
courage to stand up and also share on their own experiences.  Some shared how their husband had left them
after diagnosis while others of how their lives have been changed for better by the
diagnosis.
Novartis Oncology team also joined the group and donated a few books on CML

The children who had come to support their parents were also
gifted with Maximo books.

Overall all the three events were very successful and met
their objectives of helping the patients Maximize Life by sharing about their
experience with other patients and the public.
One feedback from a GIPAP patient sums this up “Praise
God, Hi Ferdinand, I am Francis CML cancer survivor and want to congratulate
you and your team for yesterday’s event. 
It was a success, the walk, interaction session, the reading materials,
the testimonies, the children, it was all very good.  May God continue enlightening you, we were
happy. Thanks”

Another patient came and told me “I am glad I came, I thought I
was the only one from my county but I have met so many people from my area and
I am encouraged.  Thank you and continue
the good work.”

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