Wednesday, October 28, 2009.
Lahore is the capital of Punjab province – Pakistan’s biggest province according to population. Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, is full of historical mughal heritage sites. It is rightly called the cultural capital with art institutions and museums. Lahore is also named the city of lively people. This is also the center of Pakistan’s film industry called Lollywood after USA’s Hollywood and Musicology taught in two universities.
The fourth event under Celebration of Life was held in Lahore on Wednesday morning, October 28, 2009 at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Center (SKMCHRC). This is the most important partner institution of TMF in Lahore. The celebration was held in the spacious Classroom ‘A’ with state-of-the-art multi-media facilities.
More than sixty (60) guests, including patients under GIPAP and NOVA-P along with their care-givers attended the event. The hospital was represented by Dr. (Ms.) Neelam Siddiqui, Head of Oncology, and Dr. (Ms.) Narjis Muzaffar, Senior Oncologist. Some fellows of the Oncology Department and some paramedics also participated.
Opening the meeting with the usual words of thanks, the MaxStation, described the significance of the event by taking the audience in the past to remember the spirit of Max and the thoughtful act of establishing a humanitarian institution in his memory. I then read out the Urdu translation of Pat’s Message on the occasion and emphasized the importance of carrying its spirit further to spread awareness and inspire action.
The MaxStation invited Dr. (Ms.) Neelam Siddiqui to address the gathering. He thanked her for taking out time to participate in the event, for the sake of patients, despite her extremely tight and hectic schedule. Dr. Neelam expressed her gratitude and that of the management of the hospital towards TMF for their generous assistance for CML and GISIT patients. She said she considered TMF as their partner in the great mission that the hospital was pursuing. Dr. Neelam who always maintains a very pleasant mood, was exceptionally delighted in addressing the patients with her radiant face. Both her kind words and the body language created in the patients and their caregivers a feeling of happiness, hope and confidence. She said she looked forward to TMF’s continued partnership as they will increasingly be depending on it in view of the expansion of the hospital in the face of growing cases of cancer in the country. A very special guest of this event was a male patient of 30+. Hailing from Rahimyar Khan – the Seraiki-speaking city of South Punjab, this gentleman had been a body-builder years before he was diagnosed with CML. However, thanks to the treatment, he was able to resume his normal life and also his physical fitness hobby. The handsome, well-built patient addressed the audience with a smiling face and narrated his story. He told them that after starting the treatment, he started feeling well. He also used his will power and the trust in God to conquer the disease. The result was that he is now employed in a tea company as a salesman. His duties also require him to travel. Gradually, he was able to resume his physical fitness exercises and workouts to bring his body back into beautiful shape. His story had a magic effect on the audience as many felt inspired and motivated. The positive message further gave the patients a lot of hope.
The MaxStation and the doctors then invited a female teenager patient of CML to cut the birthday cake of Max. The teenager had lost her father who was the only bread-earner in the family. After his death, the mother was taking care of her daughter and earning livelihood by doing household jobs. The mother praised TMF and also thanked Dr. Neelam and her team for their care and attention. She said she couldn’t have afforded such costly treatment of her daughter without the assistance TMF and the hospital staff provided. She prayed for Max, the entire TMF family and the doctors for their generous help and kind assistance.
After the interactive discussions, the participants enjoyed the refreshments in a warm and friendly atmosphere that also gave them an opportunity to exchange thoughts with each other. The event ended on a happy and graceful note when the MaxStation said warm goodbye to all the guests and hospital team.I invite our viewers to enjoy the photographs of the event that I have uploaded on the blog.