2nd City Stop for Maximo in Malaysia – Penang, 25 – 26 Oct 2013

If you
think Maximo will stop and rest after the first stop in Kota Kinabalu, we are
telling you that NO, Maximo is continuing his journey reaching out to
children’s heart in Malaysia.
During the
recent weekend, Maximo was travelling to Penang situated in Northern Region of
Malaysia, approximately 4.5 hours by road from Kuala Lumpur. Again, He was
heavy. We have arranged to ship 4 boxes few days before we drove to Penang.
This time
in Penang, we have 3 sessions:
·        
25
Oct noon in Hospital Penang Peadiatric Ward;
·        
25
Oct evening in Shu Children Bookshop;
·        
26
Oct morning in Hospital Seberang Jaya Paediatric Ward
In this post, I will tell you about one of the sessions – the session in Hospital Penang Paediatric Ward. 
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Hospital Penang Pediatric Ward, 25 Oct 2013
When we got
to the paediatric ward, we knew we were lucky being welcomed by the warm
white-uniform angels. The nurses were very proactive and supportive in helping
us get a room next to the walk way of the ward, and together we turned the
place into a kids room.
We started
with getting the floor vacuumed, tidy up the room, temporary removing stuffs
from the room to make space, putting up Maximo banners… and finally – covering
the floor with bed sheets serving as mat for our little champions.
Fan and Yee Jia

Trying to get the correct height for pictures taking angle

Yee Jia
coordinated the sessions in Penang, and this little lady is very capable, cute
and yes, tough too!
Meet Yee Jia everyone – 4 weeks old with MAX Malaysia team
Selamat Datang (Welcome)

QN and YJ coordinating goodie bags

All our
kids of the day are from oncology ward – so we see a mixture – some of them are
stable, some are healthier compared to their friends; some walk to the rooms
without needing any help while some are on wheelchair, some are coming with
their IV treatment drips. Some kids are very young, and some are a little
older; some are Malay, some are Chinese and some are Indians.
Regardless
who they are, how their health condition is, what their age is – on that day,
every child is coming to the Maximo session with hope. We from MAX and Max
Family and volunteers team had a common understanding – we are very aware that
we are treating every child as normal person, we are treating every child with
respect, with dignity. No discrimination just because they are being diagnosed as
patient.
I remember
this vividly – at about 2.30pm, I went out from the room to check with the key
physician, Dr Yeoh if we can start the session. Dr Yeoh told me she would want
to give one last try to persuade a boy to come in. A boy who just gets his leg
amputated. He refused to talk to anyone, he closed himself up, and the treating
physician thinks that he started showing some symptoms of depression. I told Dr
Yeoh we will wait till he come, if he willing to.
And yes, he
came. A skinny boy. He was quiet. I greeted him but no response. I smiled at
him, and said – “Welcome, nice meeting you.” His chose a spot which was at the
last row of the room. I then walked to the front of the room and facilitated
the session with Dr Razak.

Puva, a kindergarten teacher was the storyteller of the session. We showed the pictures of Maximo and the Big C story on the big screen so everyone was able to look at the illustration. The colourful illustration by Fan successfully caught attention of kids, as well as parents.

This time,
after the story, Queen (supporter from Shu Chidren Bookshop in Penang) has
helped us lead the art activities – making Maximo Crown!
Queen leading kids to make Maximo Crown

Each kid
was given the opportunity to make their own Maximo Crown, with help from
mom/dad. Kids were excited and busy decorated their crown with crayons and
stickers. It was a fun moment for everyone including the adults.
Now,
everyone is the Maximo.
The little sparrow who is small, but brave, has
get into the little one’s heart. Now, everyone is the Maximo when they put the
Maximo Crown on their head, proudly take photo with it. Now, everyone feel the
Maximo is with them when each of them receives the copy of Maximo in their
hand, and I am sure they have also received the Maximo in their hearts.
I see the
changes in the kids in these 2 hours. I see the changes in their facial
expression from quiet to happy to shiny in their eyes. I see the proud parents.
I see the elements of respect taking place in the room. I see that each child
is given an opportunity to take control – they decorated their Crown with their
favourite colours, they own their copy of Maximo. I see the bonding between a
kid and his/her parent during that 2 hours. I see the relationship of an
individual with another individual built.
Remember
the young skinny boy that I mentioned earlier? 
When he was about to leave from
the room back to his ward, he smiled at me, and said “Terima kasih, Kak”. It
means “Thank you, Sister”. He held the copy of Maximo in his hands when we had
that simple conversation. At that moment, I knew that he has gained strength
from this little tiny sparrow, which was once not daring to fly…
Fly high, kids!
There were a lot of people – supporters and volunteers and healthcare team who have helped us in putting this session. Their valuable supports have helped us tremendously – to these people, we say Big THANKS! 
Core people who made this session a success – meet each of them here. 
From L to R: MC, Dr Razak, PT (MF leader from Penang), QN (MF core volunteer from Penang), Fan, MinJia (volunteer photographer) and YeeJia

*             *             *             *             *
When I wrote this entry, I asked Yee Jia if she would like to share her thoughts with us – anything in her mind after the Maximo session in Penang Hospital. 
Yee Jia is 4 weeks old in MAX Malaysia office. For this Penang sessions, I traveled with Yee Jia from MAX Malaysia office, joint-forces with Max Family core group members and volunteers. 
This is what Yee Jia wrote: 
Joining the first event during my first month with MAX
was an amazing experience.
It was a muggy Friday noon. When we arrived at
Hospital Pulau Pinang, there were two angels coming to us with big friendly
smiles – Sister Fiza and Suhaila have been expecting our arrival since we
planned the storytelling session with their children few weeks ago.
All
along our walk to paediatric wards, the dated long corridor was filled with
lively energy of people. Soon we entered the world of our little fighters.
Their wheelchairs are all-powerful Batmobile; the drips are mighty Spiderman
Web Gun. These superheroes stood up proudly with their best weapons against the
Big C. I would never been able to describe how brave they are in words. When
they were carrying Maximo in their hands, I could see the hope and joy in their
eyes.
Their
laughter beamed up the sky. The dark and gloomy
noon gave way to clear evening sky as we walked out the hospital. I
waved. A big boy smiled back with a grin that melted my heart. 
For
sure, it was an enriching trip to embark my new journey with MAX.
Yee Jia

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