Max Crew who?

Every year Max Malaysia team would have around 8 patient workshops in different states across the country, and every time when we started to set up, we had to re-establish the connection with the local survivors-turned-volunteers whom we only contacted once a year – just for the patient workshops in the states they are living. 
This problem had been around almost as long as the workshops. We know the volunteers are invaluable treasure in support for The Max Foundation and the patient group Max Family. Consisting of the survivors and caregivers, who are the best testimonials that motivate new patients. They are the reason why the patient group was formed. However, and disappointingly, most of them faded out gradually or disappeared right away after workshops. How can we hold them together and keep them active during the gap between the annual meet-up in workshops?
Maybe we should connect every volunteer from different states, by keeping them updated about the activities we have done together at different places. For those who were new or did not follow us on Facebook, they had no idea how many activities and what impact we have brought to the community. They did not even know the supporters in their states besides themselves. We wanted them to know that they are in fact an integral part of the family doing good work and the real support to the real people. 
It started with email blast. Second problem popped up: how should we call them? Max Group? Gangs of Max? Max Troop? or maybe… Max Crew!
So out of random we published the very first Max Crew flyer on 2nd April.
We built up a simple database for Max Crew to record the name, email, phone, state and expertise of all survivors and caregivers who have given us any forms of support over the years. Currently the Max Crew recruited in this database has even included friend’s friend, students and some health care personnel such as hematologists and nurses. Based on the database, we sent out the first batch of announcement of Max Crew.

This database is useful for email blast to make announcement, publicize activities, update the activity progress and most importantly, maintain the team spirit of Max Crew.

We thought this was the beginning that we would take it slow. Unexpectedly we received some positive feedback and contribution via email and Facebook. Some long-existing Max Crew seemed to get motivated and involve themselves more proactively.

PT Teoh, CMLer cum Max Crew leader of North Malaysia, successfully gathered 5 volunteers, 21 items of goodies, and RM900 of monetary donation for Maximo session, CML & MM workshops at Hospital Pulau Pinang this year.

Sahimi, a brave Max Crew dedicating himself to share joy and happiness with the paediatric children around Malaysia for two years. He has been with patient group since 2006.

Fan, an inspirational Max Crew, contributing his art talent to add colours in the life of his fellow survivors. We wish our work with him will continue the love and hope for another decade. 

Uncle Twist-Twist, a sacorma patient we collaborated for the first time in a paediatric ward visit last year. Since then, he has brightened up patient workshop with his enchanted balloons. Having him in Max Crew is the happiest thing ever.

Group of cheerful students from medical school. They are the second ‘generation’ introduced by their seniors that we had worked with. We hope the ‘tradition’ of Max Crew will be passed down in their school to continue supporting East Coast’s patients.

Workshop is the perfect opportunity for physicians and nurses to mingle around with their patients. This year, we were blessed to have the voluntary support from occupational therapist and physiologist to have useful practices with patients.

Thilip, the new and young CML survivor whom we met at patient workshop two years ago.  His involvement in patient activities is as active as his sharing on social media, that brought Max Family to his teachers’ attention. 

David Teh, on the other hand, share his treatment journey as a GIST patient by word of mouth. He advocated himself to sell Max Family t-shirts to the parents and teachers of his grandchildren’s kindergarten. 

And of course, our activities would not be successful without their contribution: photographer, driver, caller, prop designer, porter…

After the completion of activities, we will deliver email and Facebook post with name acknowledgement, as our appreciation towards the hard work of Max Crew.

The achievement so far:
There are 192 Max Crew consisting of patients and non-patients, the active and the quiet. The north region led by PT Teoh has started a mobile chat group (Whatsapp) which they can stay connected with each other. Although there are no significant movement at the moment, but we think this is a good start in which we hope other regions can follow the same steps. 
Every Max Crew has their roles in this big family. We do need time and patience to communicate with them, stay connected with them, place them in right position and motivate them with more interactive activities. Because they are our arms to reach more patients in need.

Meet the spokesperson of Max Crew 2015: Mr. Batman 

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