Global Lung Cancer Patient Council meeting

I was recently in Zurich, Switzerland, to attend the Global Lung Cancer Patient Council meeting, supported by Roche. I was the only and first-ever patient advocate from India and the APAC region at this council. This has made it a great opportunity as well as a responsibility. For the next few days, there was amazing brainstorming, collaboration, and partnership-building to create ways to help the lung cancer patient community globally especially for LMICs.

The first material, which was developed by the Global Lung Patient Council, is going to be released soon, so watch this space.

In the attached photos, the first group photo with kind of dancing post is of the council where most of members are lung cancer patients and few caregivers, but with this energy, it is hard to guess. The second photo is of my friend “Alexandra Nunez” from Costa Rica, who has been fighting lung cancer for 12 years. Lucky for me, she allowed me to accompany her while she visited the peak of Mt. Titlis.

#PatientsFirst  #PatientAdvocacy  #LungCancer  #EquityAndInclusion  #APAC  #India  #LMIC  #collaboration  #community  #Hope

Workshop: Evolving Lung Cancer Treatment: Clinical Research and the Role of NGOs and PAGs

In my final major assignment for this year as part of my Patient Advocacy social service work, I spent few days last week in Mumbai, India, conducting a workshop for non-profit organizations (NGOs), patient advocacy groups (PAGs) and Doctors/ clinicians, during 6th Annual Year End Review in Lung Cancer meeting (which is one of the most esteemed and largest events in the area of Lung Cancer in India).

A total of 108 representatives of leading NGOs, PAGs, hospitals have attended this workshop. My topic was “Evolving Lung Cancer Treatment: Clinical Research and the Role of NGOs and PAGs”.

It was also great to be in panel discussion with amazing Dr Sewanti Limaye (Director of Medical & Precision Oncology, at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital) and Vandana Gupta (Founder Vcare), with moderator Dr Vanita Noronha (Professor, Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai), such a wonderful discussion.

There was in depth brainstorming on how we can make ‘Lung Connect India (a unique initiative that is structured to support patients and caregivers of Lung Cancer in addressing their physical, functional, emotional, social, and financial needs)’ better accessible and supportive for all lung cancer patients and create better awareness.

For Humanity, For Hope, For Love,

#LungCancer #ClinicalResearch #PatientSupport #PatientsFirst #RiseToSurviveCancer

Anyone with Lungs can get Lung Cancer

Today is last day of November, which is also “Lung Cancer Awareness Month”. Before this month end, I seek your two-minute attention please, to share and emphasize that:
–       Lots of new lung cancer cases are found to be in Non-Smokers, including in female and young, globally.
–       As officially presented in World Lung Cancer Conference 2022, ‘Air Pollution’ is now number 2 cause for lung cancer.
–       Lung Cancer killing more ‘Women’ than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer together.
–       If Lung Cancer in ‘never smoker’ consider as a separate disease, that it will rank 7 in global cancer mortality.
–       90% of lung cancer patients diagnosed at stage IV only, because of either no symptoms at early stage or if any symptoms that used to ignored as well as misdiagnosed at any cold, cough as well as TB.
–       Lung Cancer is not one disease, it has so many types and subtypes with their own genomics, treatment that work in one mutation.  Even treatment like immunotherapy works in some types of lung cancer but not with mutations like ALK, EGFR.
–       Lung cancer is number one killer, starting to take face of pandemic globally with being diagnosed non-smokers, all genders and age…but still one of the lowest investments in lung cancer Research and Awareness campaign.
Hence please note that “#AnyoneWithLungsCanGetLungCancer” and lets raise better #awareness, #StopTheSTIGMA, push for more #research, fight against #AirPollution.

In same efforts, I am glad to partner with VOH, IHW council, AstraZeneca, Roche, leading Oncologists, media and policy makers to raise better awareness on these facts during #lungcancerawarenessmonth

‘Future of Healthcare Week Asia’

Last week I was invited as speaker in my capacity of patient advocate and to represent India & LMICs Cancer patients at Economist Impact’s third annual ‘Future of Healthcare Week Asia’ in Singapore.

I was also invited by WhatsApp and Economist Impact on ‘invitation only’ roundtable discussion. It was great opportunity to discuss openly under The Chatman House Rule.

My topic was “DEI in the DNA: improving diversity, equity and inclusion in healthcare” and I strongly believe this is the urgent unmet need. Everyone has equal right to life and quality & timely healthcare access. Every life is equally important, life a mother of someone suffering with a disease in US or Singapore or India or Africa is equally important for their kids and warrant same accessibility, affordability and equity.
It was so great to be part of panel discussion along with amazing Jennifer Buckley (Founder and managing Director, Sweef Capital) and Deborah Seifert (Country Manager and DEI leader, Pfizer)

It was so great to meet “Clair Deevy” Global director of social impact of WhatsApp and discuss in detail regarding features to patient support groups over whatsapp vs other social media platforms.

The ‘Future of Healthcare Week Asia’ event was attended by 4,000+ to examine the vulnerabilities and opportunities that the recent crisis has catalysed. Over 3 days, policymakers, healthcare providers, academics and scientists shared practical learnings with representatives from industry, patient associations, charities and finance.

Health Ministry officials from 8 countries has also attended this event, and I got opportunity to 1:1 few of these key policy makers, leaders of WHO, world bank, IHH healthcare, USAID (US govt) etc.

For Humanity, For Love, For Hope, For Kusum,


A memorable weekend

As like most of my weekends, my last weekend also went into the service of cancer patients. But this was bit more special for me for few reasons:

1) I was invited as a speaker at “11th National Conference for Teenage and Young Adult Cancers” in the city of “Indore” in the state of Madhya Pradesh (an overnight journey from my place by train). When I saw, there were so many young kids as cancer patients, I was heartbroken….However, the spirit and zest for life in those kids were just amazing and a spiritual lift for me. That reminds us to do anything we can for better healthcare, for our generations to come.

2) There was a music band of young people who had defeated cancer and are now cancer free. After the conference, one of the guitarists came to meet me with his family. He and his family shared that when he was first diagnosed with Cancer, they found my late wife Kusum and my story and work of fighting with cancer on the internet, which gave them hope and motivation at the time of need. The young boy is cancer free and pursuing his career in music (the one with the beard and music instrument bag in the attached photo). The happiness of that family is the biggest reward for my work.

3) I also got the opportunity to meet Ravi Prakash. Ravi ji is renowned BBC Hindi reporter of India, and was 44 years old when he got diagnosed with Stage 4 EGFR lung cancer. While still learning about EGFR and lung cancer, he has started patient advocacy in India at amazing level and was successful to get 1 million INR per year financial assistance from the Jharkhand government to cancer patients. Thanks to Prabhat ji (who is in pharma industry with profession but one of the most passionate patient advocate by heart) for connecting me with Ravi ji.

3) Last but not least, this was the city where I had my first date with Kusum 15 years back, when she had finally accepted my proposal after my months of efforts (lucky me). There, I missed you a lot Kusum, alot.

#Cancer #PatientAdvocacy #Humanity #Hope #Love #RiseToSurviveCancer #LosingIsNotAnOption

No one is immune to disease/ illness

In whatever profession we are, we need to remember that no one (be it a Doctor or Policy maker or Politician or Rich or Poor) is immune to disease/ illness. We will be a patient or caregiver for one disease or other, in our lifetime. We can’t see current patients community as a 2nd party or not our community.

When today we have strength or resources or time, we should invest to make things better for their today because that will make our future better, when we will become a patient or caregiver.

At World Conference on Lung Cancer 2022

I am back at home, after a successful World Lung Cancer Conference in Vienna, with a number of workshops, learning, new partnerships, and meetings.

It was an honour and a huge responsibility to properly represent lung cancer patients from LMICs like India and to create new partnerships with patient advocates & groups from South Africa, Nigeria, US, UK, EU, Iran, etc., and as well as global oncogene focused patient support groups for ALK, EGFR, KRAS & ROS1.

Further, it was indeed great to have the opportunity to be able to raise concern on disparities in lung cancer treatment.

There was a lot of data presented on research as well as in areas like Air Pollution, which is now officially no. 2 cause of Lung cancer after tobacco; Significant increase of lung cancer cases in females…which will help in advocacy efforts to remove the stigma of lung cancer that it is not only a smoker’s disease….”Anyone with lungs can have lung cancer“.

Happy Birthday Kusum

Legends never die, but they are born!!
Today is the birthday of such a legend, today is the birthday of the girl who has given hope to millions by her courage, positivity, strength and advocacy to help other patients…..
Hey @Kusum – Happy Birthday my love 🎂❤️….Your birthday celebration this year too, like every year, as you have always wanted and celebrated , was with underprivileged special need kids (you know some of these kids still remember you, though they have bit grown up now 😃) and at visually impaired kids school from below poverty line 🙏 …You have fun in heaven, we are celebrating here 🎊🎉, though missing you a lot today…..

Rise To Survive Cancer

Today is the day when a flower bloomed on this earth who in her very short span of time spread fragrance wherever she went and that still persists in the air, in the minds and hearts of those lives she touched….Happy Birthday dear Vibha…May this message reaches you in whatever realm you are currently residing in. We all on this earth miss you very much

Dear Kusum aka our Vibha,

Hey birthday girl….I am sure whereever you are, there will be only love, happiness and today even lot more fun and laughs 🙂 …..Lucky they!!

Though missing badly all those laughs and you….but we are not much behind here on earth….We are celebrating your bday, in same way, as you used to celebrate every year

Day start with, to went to ‘Deepashram’ home for underprevilaged special needs kids…and spent hours there in morning with those kids and…

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Patient First Summit and Awards 2022

This week, one of my patient advocacy highlights was to be part of an esteemed panel on an extremely important topic on “Impact of Patient Advocacy in Modern Healthcare Delivery Mechanisms” at the IHW Council event of ‘Patient First Summit & Awards 2022‘.

It was a great discussion to share with established and budding patient support groups & advocates who have attended this event on – how patient advocacy has potential to move mountains, how it is already changing the face of India healthcare system for better and why we need more patient advocacy in India. And top of that, awarding those amazing patient advocates/ advocacy groups, who are selflessly serving patients in India.

#NotjingAboutUsWithoutUs #PatientAdvocacy #PatientsVoice

Priorities for cancer research in low- and middle-income countries: a global perspective

I am honored to contribute along with world leading experts on this extremely important 𝐩𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫 on 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 in 𝐋𝐌𝐈𝐂𝐬 which got published in one the world’s top journal “𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞 (impact factor: 53.44)”. I have co-authored this paper along with:
– Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, India,
– The Chief Scientist of WHO
– and Scientists and leading experts from:
> National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA
> University of Oxford, England
> University of Harvard, USA
> King’s College London,
> Queen’s University, Canada
> University of Toronto,
> University of North Carolina, USA
> National Cancer Institute of Sri Lanka.
> and scientists, researchers and oncologists from Turkey, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Ghana and France

This perspective paper is expected to be the 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 in 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐲 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 as path forward for Cancer Research globally, including with LMICs.

I, being the only patient advocate across the globe, as part of this initiative – it was great opportunity to work with best of minds and world leading experts for better future of our patients and cancer research, globally.

Snapshot of the article is attached and link of the full article is as  . Hope you connect with this article and be part of this initiative so no one (including in LMICs) left alone and everyone has access and benefits of Cancer research.

#ResearchSavesLives #LMIC #PatientAdvocacy #CancerResearch #PolicyMaking #LosingIsNotAnOption #RiseToSurviveCancer #PatientsVoiceMatters #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs