Nothing is more powerful than storytelling, especially when it’s told from a person’s first-hand experience.
In the Asia Pacific region, we are often known as “shy” community. We do not often share our stories publicly, especially a story about cancer diagnosis. We often have no one to turn to because we do not want our parents to worry; we do not want our children to feel the burden; we do not want to tell our neighbors who might be starting to avoid us because we are diagnosed with cancer.
But we need to change this phenomena. We need our community to understand the life of a person who is diagnosed and living with cancer. We need to create a better support system in our community, our country, and our region. We need to start telling our stories!
So this year, in the month of October, the Asia Pacific patient groups who are part of Max Global Network are putting up various platform to tell their stories:
- Patients sharing their personal stories within patient groups
- A public walk at a local park to interact with public
- Book readings
- Physicians speaking to patients to reduce doubts
Through these events, patients and caregivers are taking a courageous step to achieve their goals: raise cancer awareness in the community; close the gap between treatment available and treatment access; increase the level of disease understanding; advocate for non-discrimination towards people diagnosed with cancers; and ask for more attention from policy makers to channel more resources to the well-being of cancer patients.
A highlight of the patient groups’ initiative this year is Walk for CML, organized by Max Family Society Malaysia. The members of patient groups are all gearing up to walk with their physicians, nurses, friends and also members of public! They aim to send out three key messages through Walk for CML, which are “CML is not infectious,” “CML is not hereditary” and “CML is not humiliating.”
Do check out the Maximize Life Campaign events taking place in your local community and show your support today!