Posted by Mei Ching Ong on October 13, 2010
This story about the campaign launch in Malaysia comes to us through Mei Ching Ong, a member of The Max Foundation team. Mei Ching is the Head of the MaxStation Malaysia office in Kuala Lumpur who works closely with Max Family, the local patient support group.
In Malaysia, as well as in many other countries, it is still a reality that cancer survivors are unable to get a job because of their diagnosis. A person living with high-blood pressure, for example, will have no problem sitting at the same table to eat with his friends; but what are the stories that we are hearing from our friends with cancer? They are being isolated because the community has the misconception that cancer is going to spread by sitting side-by-side. The stigma felt by people living with cancer is the exact reason for the “Cancer is Treatable. NO DISCRIMINATION” campaign being run by Max Family, the Malaysian patient support group.
Support groups are not yet a common practice in Malaysia, and we are proud that Max Family is one of the best groups among blood related disorders. The group provides vital services to people living with blood cancer everyday: through peer-to-peer mentoring, through group meetings, through educational workshops, and now through their local awareness campaign. On October 2nd, cancer survivors, as well as nurses, lab scientists and physicians from all across Malaysia united in Kuala Lumpur at the launch.
The local kick-off of the Maximize Life Campaign is evidence of their group power! To make their statement about NO DISCRIMINATION stand out at their campaign press conference, members of Max Family each stood holding black balloons with white letters written on them assembling the word “DISCRIMINATION”. Then, everyone symbolically popped their balloons using an image of the Brave Sparrow (the emblem of the Maximize Life Movement) carrying a needle in his beak. The dynamic action represented “No discrimination!”