Monday, March 20, 2017

The Climb Series: Abu Hurairah

Meet Abu Hurairah, one of the climbers for Max Global Experience - Mount Kinabalu Climb this July. Together with other climbers and cancer survivors, they are raising funds to help people to face their cancer diagnosis with dignity and hope in Malaysia.
Being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia since 2006 doesn't stop him from living a healthy and active lifestyle. His favorite outdoor activities include jogging, cycling, and climbing. His way of life challenges the stigma that always traps most of the cancer survivors: They will not be able to live an active life.
I want to know more about this courageous soul, I believe all of you feel the same too. What drives him to try his best to live a normal life?
The moment I was diagnosed with CML in 2006 I say to myself that I need to be strong in overcoming this fear and stigma as everyone knows that cancer is always term as a killer disease. I set myself with a target that with God willing I should be able to go through this survival journey for at least 10 years. My main emotional support had been from my wife and children. Now I am well above the 10 years target. My inspiration has always been to be with my family and to see my children grow and complete their education so that each one of them would no longer be dependent on me. I'm now devoting my time more with my family and this bonding had given me the added inspiration to fight CML and live a normal life.
Not only that, he has reached the peak of Mount Kinabalu in 2010. He recalled his first climb was very challenging. That does not deter him from climbing Mount Kinabalu again this July. His second climb expresses his commitment to working together to help other cancer survivors.
This will be my second climb to Mt Kinabalu. First, this climb will be a fundraising campaign organized by The Max Foundation to raise fund to support cancer patients in Malaysia and I am honored to do my part. Secondly, the climb is to provide inspirational and emotional support to all cancer patients and survivors that you can live a normal life just like anyone else. You can do anything you feel like doing. It's the mind that matters.
To climb the mountain you need to be mentally and physically prepared. Along the way, there may be obstacles faced such as fatigue and leg cramps. The height is about 4092 meters. The weather can be very cold and you may also face with height sickness. So you may or may not succeed and reach the peak if you don't manage your journey well.
We all know the fight of stigma revolves around cancer is not over. It can be harder than the climb and it needs to continue. Donate to Abu Hurairah today to support his meaningful climb!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Max Crew of The Month: March 2017

We want to celebrate all the efforts from our volunteers, Max Crews. Coming from different backgrounds and walks of life don't stop them from sharing their values.Every month we like to recognise one volunteer in particular, who has shown an exceptional level of commitment. Picking just one volunteer every month is no easy feat. Max Crew of March goes to.....Li Li!!

Li Li is a CML patient, diagnosed in 2014. She joined Max Family in the same year she’s diagnosed and she has been actively involved in our activities over the years - she helped out for patient workshops, she joined Max Family monthly meetings, she attended Rising Sun conference etc., and this July, she will be climbing Mt. KK with the global team. Clearly, nothing can stop this petite lady from being powerful! Apart from her contribution to the patient community, what makes her even greater is her cheerful personality that makes people like to be around her. I’m sure if you get to meet her, you are gonna love her too!

Let’s get know her better from our short interview recently:

Do you remember the first time ever you volunteered with Max Family? 

“Honestly, not really. I remembered I started doing invitation calls to patients, then supportive participation in workshops and paeds ward visits & finally managing visits to childrens' homes & LSS workshops. Initially, I was a passive volunteer standing on the outside but I would like to think that I'm in it deeper now. There will be up and down moments, and I know that Max Family will always be supporting in every way.”

What is your favorite part of volunteering? What do you find rewarding? 

“ That "ahah" moment when you see a patient pulling themselves out of the rut! and thru volunteering, i find myself becoming less self-centered, less selfish when you set apart some of yourself for others.”

Can you tell a bit about your experience coordinating Let’s Sama-Sama for the first time (She was the coordinator for the recent Let’s Sama-Sama CML in TTDI park)? 

“It was a bit stressful as work was getting busy and I had another community project going on. Certain moments I felt I was spiralling but Yein & the Max Girls were always there to pick up what I couldn’t cover. Secretly, I love organising such "parties", esp for newly diagnosed patients to find an anchor with Max & hopefully set them towards a good start.”

Any final words for those who are interested to volunteer in the cancer patient support group? 

“Volunteering is an easy way to get involved in practical conservation, in this case it's helping patients to lead a fulfilling life as possible within their boundaries. Put yourself up and expect nothing in return. The reward comes when you see the expressions of happiness, clarify & positivism on the faces of the patients.”

As the interview ended, I am eagerly waiting for the next surprise from Li Li. What’s more important, she’s putting other patients first.