The passing of our dear friend, advocate and colleague Ferdinand, has shaken the close-knit global chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) community. CML, a rare form of leukemia that used to be fatal, now is treated with innovative targeted therapies commonly referred to as TKIs. There has been unprecedented global access to these TKIs and this has fostered the development of one of the strongest global patient communities for a rare cancer. Ferdinand, from Nairobi, Kenya, was a loved member of this community.
Each year on October 19th, Max’s Day, we honor Maximiliano “Max” Rivarola and his legacy of lifesaving support for cancer survivors through the work of The Max Foundation. This year, on Max’s Day at The Max Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, I wrote a letter to Max, reflecting on what his legacy has meant for patients, advocates, caregivers, and partners around the world. I now wish to share it with all of you, our global community of supporters who do so much to help people face cancer with dignity and hope.
Seattle, October 19th, 2017
Dear 17-year-old Max,
When cancer took you away from...
I have never climbed a mountain before so one might ask why. The truth is that we have been in this life journey together, those we call patients and those we call advocates, for more than a decade; and the reality is that we are one, united by a deep bond of love, and together we will conquer Mt Kinabalu....
Max, today we remember you on the anniversary of your birthday. October 19th is, and forever will be your day, Max’s Day. Today is a day filled with joy, love, and hope; a day we celebrate your life and honor your spirit, still shining bright through so many people in all corners of the world.
[epq-quote align="align-center"]It’s all because of you, I can face another day.[/epq-quote]
This sentiment was shared by our dear friend Tony from Malaysia, a cancer survivor and singer songwriter who wrote a song in our honor which he simply titled, ‘You’. Tony’s lyrics talk about the one who...
Three years ago I made a decision that changed my life: to donate my birthday to support the work of The Max Foundation for as long as I have birthdays to come. Ever since I have been involved with The Max Foundation, every day I am witness to the courage of people faced with cancer, the generosity of spirit of those who become patient leaders, and the dedication of healthcare providers around the world. Join me today by honoring their efforts on my birthday, July 28th....
March 9th marks a somber anniversary; the day Max lost his 3 year battle with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). For those of us who love Max, who either knew him then or who know and love him now, this will always be a day of sorrow. The words that come to mind are words such as ugly, unfair, impossible, and the feeling is one of emptiness; a whole in one’s heart. Max was a real person, a beautiful young child, whose encounter with cancer was nothing but a tragic episode....
Celebrated across the United States on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is not just a holiday, it is a time for family; a time for reflection and gratitude; a moment to take stock of what we have. As all of us prepare to either travel back home or to receive our family members in our homes, we are reminded that the most valuable thing we have is each other....
On a dry sunny Saturday in Addis Ababa, more than 100 people sat in an auditorium at the Black Lion Hospital, intently listening to a panel of experts. Representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, doctors, local and international NGOs, and concerned citizens, gathered together for the first time, to discuss the challenges of treating cancer in the country. People in the audience were not ordinary people; they were people who were affected by the dreaded C word, cancer. Most of them, parents whose children were undergoing treatment, some of them cancer survivors themselves.