The Little Things We Do…

Time flies and it has been a year since I’ve
joined the MAX Malaysia team. We embarked the journey with ups and downs during
our course to support the patient and caregiver community. Miraculously what I have
gained from them was much more than I could offer, they are all heros and
fighters that taught me strength, determination, love and also hope.
Every month I would come contact with these
brave fighters through our monthly calls in the Revlimid Assistance Program
a.k.a. RAP. I am one of the program officers handling RAP for Malaysia and
Singapore. Although effective from December 1, 2013 I would be no longer
working on this program and calling them every month, I am happy that I could
provide support and lend an ear to those that need a good listener and some
encouragement all this while.
I specifically recalled a caregiver whom I
called one day, she sounded frustrated. She was releasing her emotions and
concerns all in one go about her fund application difficulties (her husband was
a government employee and was entitled to medical funds by our government), her
husband’s kidney condition and health, the medical healthcare team and so on.
At the end of the call, I can hear that she sounded relieved and I will forever
remember what she told me. She said “Thank you so much for listening to me for
the past half an hour, it is really good to be able to talk to somebody that
could understand my concerns. I couldn’t talk this to anybody else because
others may not understand. It was really nice talking to you. I feel better.” I
was glad I could relieve her for the moment by being a listener.
By end of November, I will no longer
provide monthly calls to RAP Malaysia and Singapore patients and caregivers. Some
will be disappointed while some may not. There was a Malaysian patient that was
sad that I won’t be calling her monthly any more. She kept asking me the reason
and whom she may talk to if she needs a listener. I did let her know she may
still contact me if she feels the need to talk to somebody. She was glad.
We will still continue support these
patients through other patient support initiatives such as workshops, patient
support groups and so on. For this, I have another sharing I would like to
share with everyone. It took place during the Kuantan (East Coast Malaysia) Multiple
Myeloma patient group workshop in early October 2013. She was an old lady on
wheelchair sitting in the far corner of the entrance, she was quiet, not
everyone like everyone else. So I walked towards her. The first thing she said
was she was glad that there was someone here that could speak in Mandarin (one
of a Chinese dialect), soon we started talking. She shared her story to me.
When she first knew about her disease she was depressed and thought of commit
suicide. She teared as she continued her story. Luckily her children and
grandchildren managed to persuade her to not give up and pursue treatment. Now
she has reached complete remission! When I told her she is not alone and
everyone is here to support her. She was shocked that in that room there were
people like her too, diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma! She said throughout her
years she thought she was alone in this battle. She wiped her tears and said
she feel happy that she is not alone. By end of the day, I managed to see her
smile and laugh. It was an amazing feeling and moment for me. This reminds me
that no matter what we do, even our paper works in office; we are taking part
in making a difference too!
I would like to say thank you to all my
team members in MAX Malaysia team – Mei Ching, Wei Meng, Aina, Laura and Yee
Jia; throughout my one year here. It had been an exhilarating experience for me
to be here together with people that strive to create a difference and impact
to the lives of others. It had been a wonderful and fulfilling year for me.  
May we all continue strike and also spread
Maximo’s spirit, hope and love throughout the world. Never forget that the little
things we do, makes a big difference in others life. Cheers!

Shirleen 

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