Ribbons Around the World


For me, one of the most rewarding things about being part of The Max Foundation team is being connected to a global network of colleagues, partners, advocates, patients, and caregivers united by a shared desire to ensure that people facing a cancer diagnosis live with dignity and hope. This desire is the common thread that ties all of us together, and it knows no cultural, economic or geographical boundaries.

As many of you know, 2017 is an important year for us at The Max Foundation, as it marks our 20th year as an organization. More importantly, it marks 20 years of partnering with dozens of bold, brave and dedicated patient advocacy organizations who are truly making a difference in the lives of people facing cancer in their communities. For Max’s Day on October 19th, we wanted to make sure that everyone was included in the celebration – if only from a distance – so we introduced a new tradition among our global community. 

The Thai tradition of Bai Sri Soo Kwan, which was first introduced to us by our Thailand colleague, Wirat Sae-Kuai, is a welcome ceremony that is used in many villages and small towns in Thailand to honor and bless important visitors such as relatives or friends. During the ceremony, a string is tied to the wrist of visitor and a simple blessing is bestowed upon them. Inspired by this beautiful tradition, The Max Foundation mailed over 5,000 blue ribbons with the printed message “Celebrating Life for 20 Years with The Max Foundation.” In addition to the ribbons, partners also received a thank you note from The Max Foundation and an overview of how to use the ribbons to host their own unique variations of the Bae Sri Soo Kwan ceremony. From July through September, our amazing partner organizations hosted their own celebrations using the ribbons as a symbol of unity and gratitude.

Erin Lindsay Schneider participates in our ribbon ceremony at The Max Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration.

We also celebrated our anniversary milestone with nearly 200 friends and partners on Max’s Day, October 19th, 2017, with a celebration in Seattle, WA. While we knew that it would logistically impossible for representatives from the over 70 Max Global Network partner organizations to travel to Seattle to join us, we honored them by having two members of our community spotlight the network, Viji Venkatesh, Region Head for South Asia, and Rod Padua, President of Touched by Max, a patient support group in the Philippines. During the celebration in Seattle, guests also took a moment to tie ribbons onto each other’s wrists, while viewing a slide show of the many photos we received from our partners around conducting their own unique celebrations. It was a moment of international unity and gratitude for the hard work and dedication or all our partners worldwide. 

I invite you all to view the slideshow showcasing our partners’ Bai Sri Soo Kwan inspired activities around the world. We hope it makes you smile as much as it makes us smile! Special thanks to all who participated!

The Max Foundation turns 20!

Friends around the world, have you heard what 2017 is? It is The Max Foundation’s 20th Anniversary as an organization! That’s 7,300 days; 175,200 hours; 10,512,000 minutes. We are amazed, proud and grateful as we mark this milestone together with our global community.

Our anniversary is not just marking the one day we formed our mission. It is about each day that we work with you, our partners, towards social change so that no one experiences stigma when diagnosed with cancer and we all experience health equity. We cannot rest until people everywhere are able to access the cancer treatment, care and support they need – no matter where they live.

When we named our values recently as an organization, we arrived at Excellence, Dedication, Innovation and Collaboration. As a team, we aim to live these values every day.

Through the years, we have developed a personality as an organization. We are passionate, committed, determined, resourceful, creative, and always striving to improve ourselves. We are a global organization with a global perspective because we are serving the world.

The Max Foundation would not be here without all of you: our supporters, donors, sponsors, partners, team members, advocates and, most importantly our patient friends who inspire our mission.

In 2017, we plan to honor our anniversary with you in many different ways; a climb to the top of a mountain in Malaysia, blue ribbons sent to friends around the world, and a celebration in Seattle on Max’s Day, October 19th.

We sincerely thank you for getting us to 20. Now, let’s keep changing the world so all people face cancer with dignity and hope!

Gratitude for Our Global Community

During this Thanksgiving holiday in the US, we take time to reflect and give thanks with family and friends. We extend a most heartfelt thank you to our donors, partners, our global team, and community. Each of you is part of our patients’ journey, and we are thankful for your support and friendship. We look forward to continuing our journey together, and hope you will continue to follow our patients’ journeys in the coming year.

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and our sincere gratitude this holiday season for your continued support!

Donate and support the patient journey!

Around the World for Max’s Day!

It was an amazing 24 hours! To celebrate Max’s birthday anniversary, we went around the world through Facebook Live to visit each regional office, meet special friends, and learn how each of us contributes to caring and supporting people facing cancer. Never before has our team felt so close and united.

Watch each of the six Facebook Live recordings below to celebrate this brilliant team of advocates!

Live in Singapore

Our dear friend and CML patient, Tony Leo kicked things off on October 19 in Singapore! Tony shared a bit about his journey and experience with cancer. He also gave a special performance of his song, You, dedicated to Max’s legacy through The Max Foundation.

Live from Malaysia: Celebrating Max's Day!

We're traveling around the world with Facebook Live! First up, Tony Leo, a CML patient and musician, shares the story behind the song You and gives a special performance live!

Posted by The Max Foundation on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Live in Thailand

Next we head to Thailand, where our Asia Pacific team members interview a patient who gives back to the MaxSmiles community by cooking large servings of delicious Thai dishes for patients. It’s a testimony of the power of hospitality and kindness.

Live from Thailand: Celebrating Max's Day!

Our Thailand team shares how hospitality and kindness are simple but powerful ways to make a difference in the lives of people facing cancer.

Posted by The Max Foundation on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Live in India

Over in India, our South Asia regional office join in the fun with a wonderful skit showing the patient journey through cancer. Community is key when you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis, and the South Asia team is creating committed networks of patients throughout the region.

Live from India: Celebrating Max's Day

The Max Foundation team in India joins us on Facebook Live to share how people in India are facing cancer with dignity and hope. In the journey of life, no one expects to get cancer – but that doesn't mean the story is over!

Posted by The Max Foundation on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Live from Kenya

In Kenya, Lucy represents our Africa & Middle East region and is joined by patient advocates who have gone above and beyond their cancer diagnosis in order to help others face cancer with dignity and hope. They also brought out a beautiful cake decorated by a local patient!

Live from Kenya : Celebrating Max's Day!

From our Nairobi, Kenya team, we hear how cancer patients are combating stigma and raising their voices to support and care for everyone facing cancer!

Posted by The Max Foundation on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Live in Argentina

Our Latin America team was represented by Vicky and Melisa in our Buenos Aires office. Together, they shared their love to all in the region and around the world. They also led us through a special mindfulness exercise to focus our attention and energy!

Live from Argentina: Celebrating Max’s Day!

Our Latin America team in Buenos Aires shows how they care for patients in the region by leading us in guided mindfulness. They also share a tour of the office and how they offer support and care to others.

Posted by The Max Foundation on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Live in the USA

Finally, we cap off our very full day with a celebration in our Seattle headquarters. Team members and friends gathered to watch the live streams of the day and Pat took to Facebook Live to reflect on Max’s legacy. We also revealed the winner of this year’s Excellence in Patient Advocacy award – congratulations to Viji Venkatesh, South Asia Region Head!

Live from Seattle: Celebrating Max's Day!

We visit The Max Foundation headquarters to join the celebration with friends and team members! Pat offers her thoughts on the day and reflects on the legacy of Max. She also awards one team member with the Excellence in Patient Advocacy award!

Posted by The Max Foundation on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pop Quiz! How Well Do You Know Our New Site?

Our new site went live a few weeks back and we celebrated with a great launch party at Max HQ – we had balloons, cake, confetti, and games! For one game, we did a virtual scavenger hunt through our website with two teams hunting down the answers to the questions below. Try your hand at it and see how you do!

  1. The Max Foundation offers support and education opportunities in three ways. What are they?
  2. Who offers their expert perspective on WHY we do our work?
  3. In Asia Pacific, workshops are available in what three countries?
  4. How many treatment access solutions are there in Sierre Leone? (hint: check the map!)
  5. When making a donation, which three men are featured?
  6. Who is the premier Chai for Cancer USA sponsor?
  7. Who is the seventh board member on the Strategic Innovation Advisory Board?

How’d you do? Post your time and share with your friends!

Answers (highlight to view them):
  1. From our “What” page: Support Programs, Patient Workshops, and Capacity-Building Conferences
  2. Dr. Gilberto Lopes
  3. Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand
  4. Four
  5. Moshaddek, Ferdinand, and Cristian
  6. Choice Organic Teas
  7. Jerald Radich, MD

Updates from Across the Globe

It’s been a busy spring at The Max Foundation! Along with the major update to our new site, there are some great stories to share from our global network.

India’s GIST Meetings


Over the past few years, the India team has been concentrating on having gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)-focused meetings throughout the country. Quarterly meetings have been happening in Mumbai gist-art-therapy-indiasince 2013, but this year included the first GIST meeting in Hyderabad. GIST patient groups were started because the large number of CML patients overshadowed the specific needs of those facing GIST.

Along with presentations from medical professionals and Q&A sessions, people also participated in an art therapy workshop – some enthusiastically and some with a little coaxing – so patients and caregivers can open up and empathize with each other. As our team in South Asia can attest, these bonds create lasting friendships.

A Picnic with Malaysia’s Max Family


Max Family, a patient support group in Malaysia, decided to make the best of their nice weather and took their next patient meeting outdoors. Max team member, Waheeda, shares how the day unfolded:

“I could see almost everyone wore a bright smile, what a wonderful start to the Sunday morning! Not only that, everyone brought something with them, from the picnic mat to yummy Nasi Lemak. How lovely to see everyone is trying their best to make it the best day.”

The picnic was filled with good food and stories, as well as plans for raising cancer advocacy throughout Malaysia.

Storytelling Workshop in India

IMG_9959We saw the beginning of storytelling workshops where patients, caregivers, and advocates gathered to learn the art of telling their story. India Region Head, Viji, shares what happened:

“The intimate setting of the smaller groups helped to do away with any feelings of shyness or hesitation. Each speaker had been heard before and received feedback from familiar team mates. The group representatives spoke and shared from their hearts and what was said resonated in one way or the other with everyone in the audience.”

New Release: My PCR and Maximize Life Executive Reports

We are sharing our executive reports for our many projects and campaigns. These reports give the story behind our efforts to raise awareness, build community, and help people facing cancer around the world. Our latest reports feature the results of our My PCR and Maximize Life campaigns. Read these reports to learn why we believe in raising awareness and advocacy around the world for people facing cancer.

View Our Executive Reports

Be Among the First to Tour Our New Website!

Welcome to our new website!

At The Max Foundation, we have declared 2016 as the year we ‘leap forward for impact’. With that in mind, our first milestone is the launch of our brand new website. Redesigning our website has been both a strategic and soul-searching exercise that we have done all for you. We see our website as a platform for you to engage with us as partners in our mission.

We can’t wait for you to see the website for yourself: Explore Our New Website.

These new features were designed especially for you…

  • If you look at only one feature in the entire website, we hope it will be our interactive global map. Our map is the backbone of the site and shows the breadth of our collective impact.
  • We tell you WHY we need you to join with us by sharing statistics on how people living with cancer in low-and middle-income countries are disproportionately impacted by the global cancer epidemic.
  • We share WHAT we are doing with your support to help people facing cancer around the world; from treatment access to education to advocacy.
  • We show you WHERE your collaboration is already making a difference within our regional pages: Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and South Asia.
  • And we invite you to Get Involved in our efforts to improve global access to cancer treatment, care and support by creating your own fundraiser, joining Chai for Cancer and giving to The Max Foundation.

This is your website, just as much as it is ours. It is for your friends and ours, all of whom are touched by cancer. The Max Foundation’s website will be growing, evolving and getting stronger all the time. We hope you will bookmark the site so you can visit often. Enjoy your website tour!

In partnership,
All of us at The Max Foundation

Of Gratitude and Community

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.

At my home as in many homes, it is a tradition to go around the Thanksgiving dinner table sharing what we are thankful for. For me, I am thankful for this most extraordinary journey which has brought each and every one of you into my life. On this holiday, I am most grateful as I think of you, my friends, my partners, my worldwide family.

On behalf of the team at The Max Foundation, we would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for your support and your commitment. You are our inspiration and together we will continue our joint efforts to ensure that any person who has to face cancer can do it with dignity and with hope, no matter where they live.

I would like to wish everyone a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving. May your home be filled with love and laughter, today and always.


Congratulations to the 2015 Maximize Life Essay Contest Winners!

Essay winners Saliou Diop, P. Sangeetha and Jozina Pacheco Gómez.

Essay winners Saliou Diop, P. Sangeetha and Jozina Pacheco Gómez.

Have you visited the 2015 Maximize Life Essay Contest webpage recently? The Max Foundation is honored to share that the 2015 Maximize Life Essay Contest winners are officially released! Three winners in total, one for each of the French, English and Spanish categories, were selected by a panel of highly esteemed judges within the global health community. You may view the complete panel of judges here. We are exceedingly grateful for the valuable time and input provided by each of the judges. With 71 meaningful and authentic personal stories submitted, it was no small task to select only one winner for each language category!

We are also overwhelmingly grateful and proud of the 71 brave individuals who came forward to share about their personal journey with cancer. While we may feel from time to time as though we don’t have enough power to affect change as broadly as we might like, we all come armed with our story, and when it comes to inspiring others with hope, understanding and compassion our stories are powerful tools indeed.

So, without further ado, the 2015 Maximize Life Essay Contest winners are:

In addition to each winner receiving a US$300 grant, The Max Foundation is also providing a US$500 grant to the Max Global Network partner organization of each winner’s choice in an effort to strengthen the work that they are doing within their communities to better support people living with cancer. The following partners were selected by the three winners to receive the grant:

  • A.G.I.L du Sénégal, Senegal (French-Language Winner)
  • Friends of Max, India (English-Language Winner)
  • Esperantra, Peru (Spanish-Language Winner)
  • Congratulations to the winners and partner group awardees! And congratulations to all of the storytellers shared their personal journey. Your words will continue to inspire and bring hope to all who read them.

Browse essays from this year’s essay collection.

See How You Made a Difference in 2014

InteractiveWeb2014 Annual Report

We are excited to share our 2014 Annual Report with you! This year, our Annual Report outlines how The Max Foundation is building on its mission to increase global access to treatment, care, and support. We detail how our organization is building ecosystems that help people facing cancer in a myriad of ways: from medical treatment to emotional support; from patient education to community engagement. Throughout the report, we feature patient leaders who work to give back to their community. And of course, we transparently report on our finances.

Our Annual Report serves to capture the year in writing. It is a chance to see what we have accomplished, where we are headed, and how your contribution to The Max Foundation made it happen. Download the 2014 Annual Report and discover how your support and partnership made an impact in 2014.

Go on the Patient Journey

Join Tony as he shares his story of learning about his cancer, gaining access to life-saving medication, and connecting with a community of care.
Follow Tony's Journey