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.
Un Paso Max, meaning “Un Paso Mas" (One More Step) is a fitting name for a group led by cancer survivors who are willing to take an extra step to help others. Un Paso Max is the name of the CML and GIST patient association in the Dominican Republic. One can trace the origins of this group to a small meeting in 2008. It only took a bit of encouragement and support on the part of The Max Foundation to unlock the passion of a handful of courageous survivors in Santo Domingo, and the seed of a patient association was planted.