TBMCelebrated Merry ChristMax

Last Saturday looked liked a a big food festival with all sorts of native home-made delicacies,
desserts, viands, and pastas on the table. Everyone was excited to celebrate an
early Christmas party. As early as 8 o’clock in the morning, patients and their
caregivers started coming in. I was surprised to see one of the GIST patients
around. A week ago, I visited her in PGH ward. She is due for surgical
procedure to remove the big tumor from her liver. Not wanting to miss the
party, she asked her physicians to delay the procedure for few days.

Mila, our game master, prepared parlor games for kids and adult alike, much to the
amusement of everyone. It was such a delight to see everyone laughing aloud and
enjoying every moment of the party. Our celebrity stand-up comedian brought the
house down with his jokes and punch lines. Some talented patients and their caregivers also shared their singing and dancing prowess. Rod, our TBM President had no choice but to accede to the request of the group. For the first time, he obliged to sing one of his favorite song.
Donated raffle prizes were given away to lucky winners in exchange of tickets.
One patient who won an electric fan was very thankful. She sold the fan to be
able to buy rice for her family. After all, she could not use the fan as they
do not have electricity yet. This small scale fund-raising activity of TBM aims
to garner some funds for our future activities.
In the afternoon, Dr. Lynn Bonifacio, a former Hematology fellow from PGH gave a brief
lecture on CML. It was sort of a reunion for her and her former patients too.
The forum was sponsored by Novartis. They provided lunch and rental of the venue.
Two days had passed and I still continue to receive thank you messages via
SMS from the participants. Indeed, it was very heartwarming. :-):-):-)

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