MM patient meeting in Thailand 2014

On April
2014, I got an email from Mei Ching informing that I could organize MM meeting
in Thailand since she has got grants from Onyx Pharmaceutical to manage 2 MM
meetings each for Malaysia and Thailand. My first reaction on this news was
smiling. I was so happy knowing that we finally could have this meeting since
many MM patients I am talking with are asking for one.
I started to
write a meeting proposal and action plan to submit to Mei Ching. This time we
don’t limit only to MM patient of RAP but for all who are interested to join
this meeting. We made a flyer to promote this event. Wirat and I were helping
each other to make sure that everything was done properly. 
I could say that it
was a successful and productive meeting for this year. Why am I saying that it
was a productive meeting? Because we had got a resourceful physician, Dr.
Teeraya Puavilai, from Ramathibodi Hospital. She is one of the key physicians
who committed her career for MM patients. She is now in charge of Bone marrow
transplant project for MM patients. There are few hospital where patients can
undergo BMT and Ramathibodi Hospital is one among them. We also invited a
nutritionist form Ramkhamhang Hospital. We decided to have nutritional session
because of many patients I talked with ask me about what to eat and what not
to. I have an idea that this meeting, nutritional session is needed also. I got
help from one of my master degree classmate who is a head nurse of that
hospital to look for a possible nutritionist to share to our patients and with
her help I was able to have this nutritionist as the speaker for this event.
On July 5,
2014 marked as a MM meeting 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. There were 44 MM
patients and caregiver plus 35 MaxSmiles members attending this event. It was a
good number really. We started the registration around 10 am. Then on 10.30 am.
We introduced the Max Foundation to those who attended the meeting for them to
understand how we work and what are our mission and vision.

Around 10.45,
MM educational session started. Dr. Teeraya is so knowledgeable on the disease.
She was able to deliver her knowledge to patients with simple language which
was so appreciative to patients and caregivers. After the presentation, the
question were raised to the physician and she was able to satisfy those
questions. The session lasted until 12.30. We had group picture with Dr.
Teeraya. 

Then we proceeded to lunch. This year we served patients and caregivers with healthy foods such as boiled sea bass with chili sauce, Chinese vegetables stew, mild soup with vegetables, pork and bean curd, Shrimp potted with vermicelli and brown rice. As you can see in the photos I shared.

Afternoon session
was on nutritional session. It was good. Many patients were asking about the
questions they were curious about foods. This session finished around 2.30 pm. Then
comes the last session. It was sharing session led by Wirat. Form this session
I have got inspiring stories both from patients and physicians. I would like to
share to all of you here.

One caregiver
who was a nurse by profession. She flied all the way from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
 It is located in the northern part of Thailand.
When she learnt that her husband was diagnosed MM. She dedicated all of her
life to this disease. She studied and tried to understand on this disease in
order for her to help her husband to live and enjoy his life as much as he can.
Right now her husband is still healthy and responding well with the treatment. She
is so grateful with the help The Max Foundation rendered to her and her family.
While she was sharing her story, she was crying and it really touched me. If we
love someone with all our hearts, we will surely do everything we can to make
them smile again.
The caregiver is sharing her experience taking care her MM husband.
Another story which amazed me was a reunion of the two friends. They were
high school classmates and they never saw each again until that day. After the
meeting the male patient approached the female patient since he felt familiar
with the name when she was introducing herself during sharing session. They were
joking each other that they don’t even study at the same school they have the
sickness and they were helped by The Max Foundation as well. Smiles were on
their faces and while I am writing this blog I am also smiling.
This patient who is at the right side of the picture and the lady are high school classmates.

They are talking to each other.
Finally this
session does not only bring knowledge to patients and caregivers only, they also
bring hope and dignity back to patients as The Max Foundation has mission for
patient cancer. I could say that even how tired we were preparing the meeting
but smiles from them really refreshed us and I am sure that you have witness
this feeling as I do.

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