9/22 World CML Day 2013 “united all, unique all”

On Sunday , 22nd September World CML Day dawned
bright and clear in two cities in India , on two opposite sides of our vast
land . Jodhpur , in the West , in the heart of Rajasthan , the Abode of Kings
and by the side of the vast Thar desert where the sun sets on the stark
landscape in a burst of glory each day  . And Kolkata , right across the
country , the capital of Bengal , that abode of art and culture where the
mighty Ganges flows into the Bay of Bengal all the way from the mighty
Himalayas and from where the sun rises each morning kissing the country with
its searing rays .

Everything in these two states is as different as chalk form
cheese ; be it the language , the food , the terrain or the clothes worn by the
people who belong to these great regions. Yet , we are bound together by bonds
at once even too difficult to describe . As I write this report I think to
myself our 2013 logo , “ all united , all unique” cannot be more apt.

If being an Indian and above all being a good human being
unites us and transcends all barriers , then on that morning , there was
something else in common that was bringing more than 350 people together at the
two far boundaries of this country . CML .

Yes , in Jodhpur and in Kolkata , that morning families
touched by CML were trooping in to attend the special meeting arranged solely
for their benefit .

The Max Foundation India team is honoured that the physician
community in India reached out to us and  entrusted  the
responsibility of organising an event that would commemorate this day and
enable the CML community to come together and celebrate life . We call it
Maximise Life and that is exactly what happened.

With Dr Hemant Malhotra in Jodhpur and Dr Reena Nair in
Kolkata offering us all the support we needed , it was a matter of a couple of
weeks before we reached out to everyone in the region and invited them to join
us for a day of education , awareness and entertainment .  Friends of Max
in both cities , a large established group in Kolkata and a fledgling one in
Jodhpur got their act together and before you could say Philadelphia Chromosome
, the most exciting programmes were chalked out .

Where in Jodhpur we had the 100 strong audience listening
with rapt attention to testimonials of champions who have weathered the
diagnosis of CML for over a decade and those who found love and happiness even
in the midst of the trauma it brought on , In Kolkata , more than 220
participants cheered and clapped lustily as the curtains fell on the One Act
play that took everyone through the family of Navin and Stuti as they coped
with the diagnosis in their own family , involved their children in its
understanding and contributing to their father’s good adherence practices, to
aware and alert oncologists recommending accepted monitoring via PCR ; to
employers who supported their team members notwithstanding the stigma still
attached to cancer and to the strong presence and support of friends and
families who formed support groups to embrace newly diagnosed patients into
their fold .

In both the meetings we had the best of the medical
fraternity from the region sharing their expertise and patiently answering all
the queries asked by the audience . Where in Kolkata we had Dr Mammen Chandy
explaining the relevance of 9/22 in CML , in Jodhpur we had Dr Hemant Malhotra
and Dr Tulika Seth hold forth on the importance of compliance and adherence .

Two expert panels in Kolkata further took up various issues
that patients on long term therapy face and the discussions that ensued managed
to involve everyone present .

No meeting in India is complete without music and food and
it was a happy group that went back to their home and hearth after a day of
camaraderie and CML sharings –
Some pictures from Kolkata and Ayeshah , who went to Jodhpur to singlehandedly conduct the first ever meeting there will post pictures soon


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