Blogs posted by Viji Venkatesh
As Maximo and the Big C continues its grand tour of India, we would like to share with you all some special moments that Maximo has brought to children through readings of this book. And so we bring to you our first installment of Maximo Moments, highlighting the discussions and dialogue that this powerful story is sparking in our global community.
Friends of Max (FOM) has been touring India intensively over the past few weeks sharing this story with pediatric patients across the country. Viji, with Friends of Max, shares with us her Maximo Moments following book readings at the Pediatric Ward of the Indo American Cancer Hospital in Hyderabad and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGI) in Chandigarh, respectively.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 10, 2013 | Comments: 0
As Maximo and the Big C travels around the world spreading messages of strength and bravery, more and more individual stories of kindness and courage among people living with CML and caregivers are rising to the surface as inspirational reminders that Maximo's brave and caring spirit permeates our lives and communities.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 15, 2013 | Comments: 0
Patient groups have been hard at work planning their events for the 2013 Maximize Life Global Awareness Campaign! As part of our campaign, patient groups around the world will be celebrating the introduction of Maximo and the Big C! This story book for all ages tells the tale of a brave sparrow who learns how to fight the fear.
Viji, our MAX Country Head, and Friends of Max in India recently started Maximo on a grand tour to mark his arrival and the beginning of the Maximize Life Campaign. Friends of Max, alongside The MAX Foundation and with support from Being Human- The Salman Khan Foundation- has held book readings and discussions in local children's hospitals to introduce Maximo to the children and to talk with them about how they can fight the fear. Maximo was very well received indeed! Viji tells us more about this first stop in Maximo's world tour, beginning with Kolkata (Calcutta).
Check out the photos of the little ones captivated by Maximo!
Click 'Read More' to find out more about Maximo's debut!
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 02, 2013 | Comments: 0
This blog is being presented as we ready ourselves for September 22nd, World CML Day, which will be honored by advocates, CML survivors, and caregivers around the world in order to raise awareness of the needs of people living with CML.
Targeted therapies for CML have created a generation of CML survivors who are finding out what it is like to try to live normally with cancer over the course of years. This is an experience that brings its own unique challenges and difficulties.
At their recent leadership summit, Friends of Max, our affiliate group in India, held a session entitled “Milestones in the Life of a Long-Term Survivor: From Childhood through Young Adulthood to a Fulfilling Life as a Senior Citizen of the Community.” This panel offered invaluable insight into the experience of living with cancer over the long term, as many CML patients do.
Viji, with Friends of Max, tells the story of families that graciously agreed to join the panel during this session to share their experience. Click on 'Read More' for the complete story.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on September 16, 2013 | Comments: 3
The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGI) in Chandigarh recently unveiled the first GeneXpert instrument in India acquired through the MAX-Cepheid Partnership. The MAX-Cepheid Partnership is part of MAX’s broader diagnostic initiative and provides for preferential pricing for GeneXpert instruments, enabling institutes such as PGI to acquire these instruments and assays at a lower cost in certain high burden countries. The GeneXpert instrument runs an automated test to determine the amount of disease present in CML patients. This allows physicians to effectively monitor disease progression and to treat accordingly, giving them another tool to combat CML.
Viji, our inspiring Country Head in India alongside a Friends of Max volunteer, represented The MAX Foundation at the event and shares her experience. During her trip to Chandigarh, she also made time to train volunteers at Sahayta, the local cancer NGO that graciously donated the instrument.
Click 'read more' to hear the full story from Viji!
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on August 13, 2013 | Comments: 1
Far from the central hub of the Maximize Life campaign in Washington USA, the Celebration of Life held in Pune, India, is a magnificent example of friendship, courage, sharing, learning, and maximizing life. What is a global cancer awareness campaign, if not the platform to showcase real life heroes from all corners of the world? What follows is an insider’s account of a magical day in India, made possible by a group of people who chose to step up to a challenge with admirable courage.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 04, 2010 | Comments: 5
One phone call to Salman Khan, the famous Bollywood actor, and he is ready to offer his encouragement to any patient in need of a boost of confidence. Through his own philanthropic organization, Salman has been supporting people facing life threatening diseases for many years. When he learned about the Maximize Life Campaign, he was only too ready to add his name to the World Cancer Declaration, along with a heartfelt support message of his own.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 25, 2010 | Comments: 10
As we enter 2011 thinking about resolutions for the year to come, we recommit ourselves to working on small and large scales, locally and internationally, towards reducing the discrimination faced by people living with cancer. While the goal of de-stigmatizing cancer is not new, we come with renewed energy and ideas; already seeking new opportunities for partnership and hearing new stories of success. The story that follows is of two mothers in India, each of whom was facing their own struggles to overcome stigma, showing us that in our own intimate circles, as well as in our global community, together we can change the face of cancer.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on January 04, 2011 | Comments: 8
This summer, several team members from The Max Foundation attended St. Jude’s Cure4Kids Global summit in Memphis. Viji Venkatesh, Head MaxStation based in Mumbai, India was among the participants. In the blog that follows she elegantly shares her impressions of her visit while telling the story of St. Jude’s Hospital. Her tale weaves in the lives of Danny Thomas, along with Dr. Pinkel and how such visionaries still touch the lives of children with cancer around the world today. Finally, Viji treats us to poetry excerpts from young people who have faced cancer with courage and bravery, thanks to the team at St. Jude’s.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on August 02, 2011 | Comments: 0
The charisma of Vaibhav can be felt through the words of our team lead in India who describes her first meeting with the boy of nine years old. The young cancer survivor made his presence and his pride known as he added his name to the World Cancer Declaration, along with the other 20,000+ signatures collected by The Max Foundation. This young man’s voice will now be heard from the patient group meeting in Pune all the way to the UN Summit on non communicable diseases (NCDs) in New York. Read the full story to hear how Vaibhav gracefully grasped what it meant to sign the declaration for himself and for so many others of us facing cancer worldwide.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on August 22, 2011 | Comments: 14
International CML Awareness Day was celebrated yesterday all around the world and Mumbai, India was no exception. Our team lead in India, Viji shares a lovely overview of how CML survivors and supporters, along with our team in the MaxIndia Office came together to commemorate 9/22. After reading her story from the day, be sure to click through the gallery of photos to see the images of the participants enjoying, the cake showing the chromosomal translocation of 9-22 and more!
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on September 23, 2011 | Comments: 4
Every year October highlights a bond The Max Foundation and LIVESTRONG have, in addition to parallel missions to fight cancer worldwide. Friends will know that October is also an important month for The Max Foundation since it is the time of the annual Celebrations of Life around the world. However, readers may not be aware that October 2nd signifies LIVESTRONG Day for the Austin based Lance Armstrong Foundation. This year, Friends of Max, the local patient association in India held one of the biggest celebrations, which took place in Hyderabad, India on LIVESTRONG Day and so participants took the opportunity to enjoin both occasions and celebrate life, while living strong!
Click on "Read More" to find out how LIVESTRONG Day and the Celebration of Life unfolded in Hyderabad.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 02, 2011 | Comments: 1
Chillar means ‘small change’ in Hindi and so ‘Chillar Party’ has become common parlance in Hinglish for ‘spunky kids’, explains Viji Venkatesh, our lead MaxStation in India. And in her tell all blog, Viji shares how a group of children bravely fighting cancer, their families and almost everyone in the vicinity of the pediatric ward of their local hospital joined their Chillar Party in order to celebrate life in the most festive way, with a viewing of the Bollywood movie produced by Salman Khan. Brought together by the local patient association Friends of Max, the team at The Max Foundation and thanks to Salman's own foundation "Being Human"—the room full of spunky kids had the greatest time watching and enjoying and maximizing life together.
Read Viji’s full blog and check out the photo gallery to see the excitement for yourself!
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 25, 2011 | Comments: 2
In India, Friends of Max (FOM) Pune Chapter hosted a Stomp Out Cancer program in collaboration with a local school, The Samarth Vidyalay School. The Stomp Out Cancer event engaged the school children and their families in both education and activism. They brought in very special guests as educators and got everyone moving all day long!
The children and their families participated in a vibrant awareness march in their community, put on a skit about receiving a CML diagnosis, and released balloons to represent those unable to be present as well as their commitment to spreading the Stomp Out Cancer message.
'Read more' to find out about this meaningful collaboration with children, families, and teachers at The Samarth Vidyalay School. In empowering the local youth and community, the Stomp Out Cancer message is sure to be spread far and wide!
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on November 07, 2012 | Comments: 0
Can you believe the quality of art this year for the Maximize Life Art Project? Of the many amazing entries, four winners were selected. Behind each of these captivating images is a person living with cancer who, through their art, has courageously shared their message of struggle, hope, and survivorship. To celebrate each of the four winning entries, a series of four blog posts will tell the story of the artist, their painting, and a powerful message of how they maximize life.
This post features Archana in India, and her painting entitled “Celebrate Life in Paradise”. Behind this piece is a message of optimism. Archana writes, “Always celebrate life in a paradise. Fill your thoughts with bright colors to keep your soul cheerful.” Her vibrant, dreamlike image reminds us that no matter what we are up against, we must take risks, follow our dreams, and celebrate life-- in childhood and all ages!
Visit Archana’s painting and the other powerful entries in the Colors of Hope Gallery.
Posted by Viji Venkatesh on November 26, 2012 | Comments: 1