Posted by Guest Blogger on November 17, 2011
Salim Mirza, of Lahore, Pakistan is today’s Guest Blogger. Since 2009 Salim has traveled between hospitals and clinics in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi as a MaxStation, working with physicians and supporting patients.
In Pakistan, the Celebration of Life event was held Monday morning, October 31, 2011. We invited a batch of Beacon House School, ‘A’ Level students, who had earned distinction in various subjects. They were led by their teacher of Sociology, Ms. Sabiha. Ten (10) members of Kiran Patients Core Group, the local patient support group, also participated in the event. Over 150 children who had come to attend the Outpatient Department were invited along with their caregivers. They came early to participate in this event and attend their clinics afterwards.
Elders were accompanying child patients, and the CEO of Children Cancer Hospital CCH), took the opportunity to brief everyone on how the charitable hospital was started. He told them in simple words about various types of cancer in children and assured that all such cases can be cured if diagnosed and treated early. He also gave useful advice about healthy living. He warned against the hazards of eating unhygienic food sold outside and gave the audience some practical tips about safe food and essential hygiene practices that can keep us free from many infections.
The teenager team leader of Beacon House School students named Osama delivered an interesting speech. He appreciated this first opportunity to meet cancer patients and get to know about cancer, the CCH and The Max Foundation. Osama admired the role of The Max Foundation and said he was amazed and impressed at the selfless global initiative and saluted its founders. He thanked the organization for the services it has been providing for humanity all over the world. The young and ambitious leader offered his and his team’s support anytime it was needed for such humanitarian endeavors.
Three volunteer children presented an interesting play highlighting the benefits of hand-washing. After the play, all participants (over 200) were distributed a small packet of medicated soap. This activity was held under the slogan: Give Soap – Save a Child. Blue “Maximize Life” wristbands were also distributed among all the participants who were asked to wear them all the time to spread cancer awareness.
Volunteers helped me in preparing gift packages of toys for some 200 child patients. First we distributed these gifts along with lunch boxes to the Outpatients who had attended our event. Then two groups of 4 volunteer students went downstairs inside the children’s wards and distributed the gift packages together with lunch boxes. They shook hands with the young patients. The gesture brought smiles on the patients’ faces.
Overall, it was a successful event that brought together in one place with community members involved – in one way or the other – in the fight against cancer.