- Mrs.Indira.CK, Marketing Head, Shoppers Stop Ltd
Thank you for giving us a wonderful opportunity to be a part of your commendable services rendered by your esteemed organization. We are really glad to have been associated with you on the occasion of Christmas and appreciate your tremendous support for the event. It was an eye-opener for many of us as we got back to office, a lot of information and messages for the New Year. We would like to personally thank each and every one of you for having made this one of the most memorable events of 2015 for us here. We will definitely look at doing more such activities in future and hats off to your team.
Dr. Martin Jeyasingh Mathews, National Institute of Fashion Technology
Thank you for the opportunity to conduct a workshop for the children undergoing medical treatment at your hospital. As part of Daan Utsav - "Joy of Giving", we, as a team of students and faculty members of Department of Fashion Design, NIFT Chennai, had complete satisfaction in conducting the workshop for the children and their parents. We cherished every moment during our activity, which brought joy and smile on their faces.
Sneha Sadan, Karpagam Avenue
We come to Cancer institute every Tuesday. We bring along puzzles, coloring materials, brain games, etc. We focus on activities to improve their eye corrdination, cognitive ability and motor skills. We enjoy doing this and look forward to every visit. The smiling faces of children undergoing treatment gives us pleasure and keeps us going. - Anuradha, Shobha, Sujatha, Thasneem, Amrutha
The holistic approach adopted by the Pediatric Ward hospital with regard to patient care is commendable. This ensures their well being in both physical and emotional aspects. The hospital comprises of a Senior Dietician whose routine interaction with the ward patients, stressing on the need for a proper diet that helps in recovery as well as prevention of cancer, was observed. Interaction with patients by psychologists from the Department of Psycho-Oncology, providing medical counselling along with doctors, was also observed. The psychologists mainly demystified the myths about cancer and how to deal with the social stigma. I observed and participated in Art Therapy, recreational activities that were organized for the children to keep them engaged and forget their worries. This was organized by NGOs, various corporate companies and also Mahesh Memorial Trust.
Ajesh Kumar P.T., PhD Scholar(Ocean Engineering), Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras
Campus Palliative Care IIT Madras (CPC-IITM) is deeply indebted to Mahesh Memorial Trust and administration at Cancer Institute for giving us the first and the best platform to launch our community service initiative. We started off with inspiration from the much appreciated Palliative Care mission in Kerala, its community palliative care model knows as Pain and Palliative Care society and Students in Palliative Care (the student version) under the auspices of Institute of Palliative Medicine, Kozhikode. When we started we recognized that the two neighbors IIT Madras and Cancer Institute, having set exemplary standards globally in their own domain, need to shake hands and work together. We saw that students of IIT Madras can contribute some quality time and their innovative ideas to make life easy for patients across its neighbor. In return, we would be learning great lessons of life in patient management and about handling tough times in life. For last 3 years, CPC has conducted regular hospital visits on all Saturdays. In addition, we have been recently engaged in Tutor Program to children for 1 hour twice a week on weekdays in the evening. We feel blessed to have made some financial contribution for treatment support and material contribution of necessary items like child friendly blankets and post operative gowns using money collected by street fund raising method. Today, CPC is engaged in providing compassionate care to patients with life threatening illness or chronic health conditions. Paraplegic patients and Cancer patients often live a secluded life. The family members of these patients undergo a lot of hardship mentally, physically, socially and financially. We make regular hospital visits for cancer care as well as hospice care and join a few NGOs in free home care programs for palliative care. As rightly quoted by Mahesh Memorial Trust, we strive to "Let No One Fight Cancer Alone".
Ms.Anitha Devadossan, coordinator of The Chennai volunteers:
It has been a meaningful experience spending time volunteering with the children and their mothers. Every week is a new start for us as we meet the smiling faces coming forth to interact and mingle. Language is not at all a barrier as we use the common language called "Smile" which speaks a lot more to them than their mother tongue. A simple handshake, playing caroms, colouring together, playing Hide and Seek, story telling and action songs are the ways which help our team build a good friendly rapport with the children. Children asking us "Will you come tomorrow / Why do you want to leave so soon?" gives us the sense of fulfillment, encouraging us to prepare more for the next session.
Ms. Varsha Srinivasan, NRI student who assisted at the institute for a month:
When I first came to the cancer institute as a volunteer, I had no idea what to expect. Coming from abroad, I was already slightly nervous because I was afraid that I would have a difficult time connecting with the kids. However, after my first time volunteering, I was eagerly awaiting to go back and volunteer again because the kids were so enthusiastic and eager to interact with the volunteers! Once I had volunteered a few times, it was heartwarming to see how happy the kids would be when I would remember something little like their names or where they’re from. In light of their situation, they always stay so positive and hopeful, which allows them to continue to enjoy life as it is, which is one of the most important lessons I could have learned from them. I really cherish the experiences I had during my time volunteering with the kids! I am very grateful for this opportunity, and whenever I come to Chennai, I definitely plan on returning to volunteer at Mahesh Memorial!
The Student Art therapists from Sir George Washington University, were at Chennai for a fortnight. Their observations:
We use art therapy to help the children and families process the trauma of intensive medical treatment. Art is able to transcend language and cultural barriers to give us insight into their experiences and make meaningful connections - Angelica Bigsby, on why they are engaging both the mothers and children into structured, specific and planned activities.
We do group murals, storytelling, hand embroidery and graffiti art. We specifically wanted to work at this site (Mahesh Memorial pediatric oncology centre) because it is important for children to have positive experiences connected with cancer treatment that can be very painful and frightening - Lauren Campbell.
The ambience here resonates to positivity with colorful murals and wall paintings. We are amazed at the resilience and strength of the children and their ability to find joy even while going through difficult times - Francesca Schaerres and Adrienne Stamper.
I study in class eleven at National Public School, Gopalapuram, Chennai. I wanted to spend the summer vacation of 2015 in a productive way. And so, I requested to volunteer from the 6th of April to the 1st of June. I was unsure of how I could add any value to the lives of the tiny patients at the hospital. And so, I started my volunteering stint with doubt and apprehension. On my first day, I got to meet two other fellow volunteers, Mrs Lalitha and Mrs. Ramya. Along with them, I helped the children dabble in colouring. Other activities like origami and drawing were also available to the kids. With each passing day, I began to look forward to my visit to the hospital. It was amazing to see what such small busy minds could do. It gave me so much joy to see them do what they enjoyed doing the most. The children had such amazing spirits. This experience has taught me several lessons and has given me several more memories to cherish. I would like to thank Mr. Manohar for giving me this wonderful opportunity. His amiable and friendly nature helped me get rid of any anxiety that I had on day one. The overall atmosphere of the centre and the satisfaction that I got from the experience make me want to come back in the future. This is one experience I will cherish the most.
It was a great pleasure working with the kids at the Mahesh Memorial Trust. Initially I had that hesitation to volunteer in such place, but when I start my volunteering spending time with the children really made me feel worthy doing such job. Those smiling faces and enthusiasm within them keeps us waiting for every Thursday to engage in playing with them. This is something which I think I cannot gain again in my life. Every Wednesday and Thursday I take it as a challenge that I must make the children feel happy and enjoy the activities conducted by us.
Shivani and Friends(Students, WCC College)
We went in expecting it to be a challenging experience as we weren’t sure how the kids would talk to us. Also how the surroundings would be, we thought it would be dull as most hospitals are. But about 10 minutes into our session we all warmed up to one another. The children were very enthusiastic and keen to interact with us. They engaged us in games of carom and on the slides. The environment was so joyous we forgot we were in a hospital. The painted walls and the children’s laughter was enough to make us want to stay over time. We can’t wait to come back.
I am 14-years-old and from the United States of America. To become an oncologist has always been a dream of mine. My interest was sparked when I donated my hair to an organization called Locks of Love in USA which donates wigs made with the hair received to people affected with the unfortunate sickness of cancer. Ever since, I have strived to learn more about the disease that has taken the lives of so many people around the world. Though I had such an interest towards cancer, to me this disease was just known as the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in the body. But after meeting the children at Adyar Cancer Center, I have realized that cancer means so much more than the dictionary definition. I loved playing with the kids every day, with the most popular games being catch, musical chairs, football, car races, artwork and much more. I loved hearing their stories about their schools and their families and in return they loved hearing about mine. Overall, this experience has been one of the best in my life and I wish to come visit Adyar Cancer Center during all my vacations to India.
I am a final year student of Anna University. I am here at the pediatric ward to celebrate my birthday along with the children. Seeing their smile despite their predicament. I have resolved to render all possible help throught my lifetime. I also pray for their speedy recovery and be their normal selves. (He distributed stainless steel food trays for the kids)
Students from JBAS College for women, on a one-month outreach program
Our visit to the Cancer Institute was memorable. We interacted with young children who were unaware of their health conditions. They indirectly taught us simple life lessons of being happy which affected us in a positive way. We were able to sense the sorrow of the other side of life. We came face to face with the reality of life, which we would not have experienced but for our physical presence. It was at once inspiring and impacting. Despite the pain, we could see smiles on the pale faces of the children. We pray for their speedy recovery. This feedback is to thank the hospital authorities for permitting us to mingle with them and also to Mr. Manohar who coordinated our programs on a continous basis.
Manoj Lulla, Madras Round Table
- I am really happy and energized visiting here and seeing the children. As a group, we are amazed to see the doctors, nurses and volunteers doing a great job to keep the children happy. Hope we can continue to contribute to their well-being
- Monica and Charles, Patrician College of Arts, Chennai
- We had a nice experience in cheering and playing with the children. Mr. Manoharan briefed us on the happenings and functioning of the hospital. We are both sad and happy. We are sad that the children are afflicted by the deadly disease but happy that they are getting the best treatment.
- Sukanya, Prakash, Sindhiya and Shyam, Infosys Foundation
- It was a wonderful experience for us. We mingled with the children and enjoyed teaching them small crafts. The best part was these children taught us many new crafts. It was both a teaching and a learning experience. We enjoyed their company. Their enthusiasm was a great boost to us.
- Ramesh, Ajith, Naren, Sowmiya, Rajani, Rotaract club of Madras.
- A tremendously fun afternoon spent with kids, who despite all odds remain cheerful. Kudos to Mahesh Memorial Trust. Truly happy, energized and inspired.
- Rex Augustine Vimal Joseph, Coordinator, CSR, HCL Technologies
- Thank you for our one day program. The employees really liked it and would want to continue their services. In fact, mingling and playing with children took all of us to our early childhood. We are also planning another one day program in mid-October. I have given my inputs and suggestion to our senior management for a long term plan.
- Gunit Singla, Chennai Volunteers
- I had a fun-filled, dance-filled, game-filled and smile-filled hour volunteering at the Mahesh Memorial ward of the Cancer Institute. Our team was entertained by the endless smiles, spontaneity and ideas of the kids there. Looking forward to being there next time.
- Mohanraj, Chennai Volunteers
- The session at the Cancer Institute was good…Thanks…There were lots of kids who participated enthusiastically…Lots of volunteers too taking care of children...That made them very interactive and happy…
- Sabari Girish, Chennai Volunteers
- We had immense pleasure seeing the kids with joy in their faces and forgetting their pain for those few hours. We wish to continue this every Saturday if possible. I guess there will be even more institutions like this so we want to go there too with your help. There might be some people who will be poor so we have an idea to conduct some programs and collect funds. Thanks for giving this opportunity. We pray from our heart for them to get well soon.
- Alex, Chennai Volunteers
- Our visit to the Cancer Institute was truly a great experience. We had people from Chennai Volunteers and Dr Reddy's working together. An art competition was conducted and we had all the children actively participating with great enthusiasm. It was fantastic to see the kids display great thoughts and some drawings were outstanding. It was great to see the parents of these kids also motivating them to do their best. One thing that really touched me was when I went into the ICU to collect the drawings. All the 4 kids who participated drew really well. But one girl had signed off her painting with these words "God Bless All of Us". It was heart melting to see people with such unselfish prayers even when they are going through some tough times in their lives. One realisation was that adults need to come down and learn a lot of things from small children. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to be with these kids.
- Ms. Auther Ghori
- MMT is a wonderful and lively place for the little ones. It sets a benchmark for cancer care especially given the age of children.
- Ms. Shreelekha
- MMT is an eye opener for a first timer. The cheerful look on the kids' faces first shows the care given and the environment is wonderful. Congrats, great job by staff.
- Ms. Geetha Radhakrishnan
- We spent a short while, My daughter in law, my daughter and me. But the experience was worth many hours of normal life. The kids, inspite of the odds, were so happy to see us and receive the gifts ever so small. I did not imagine that so little could bring so much happiness. A lot more can be done because the children enjoy the warmth of human presence.
- Ms. S. N. Sivapriya
- When I visited the children's ward of the cancer institute I was emotionally affected. But soon enough I mixed with them freely. One suggestion. The parents can be educated on diet to the kids and the eats can be streamlined. The children can be encouraged to do painting and drawing which can be exhibited and funds can be raised. On the whole a divine place. In short, a zen of care and support!
- Ms. Bhargavi Mani, CEO, EDGE design
- Bringing a smile on to the faces of the kids who are fighting cancer with all the courage has been a very fulilling experience. This year, as part of our CSR, we had an interactive event with the children. Our experience was overwhelming and we would like to thank the adminstrator Mr.Manohar and Dr.Venkat for the opportunity. I have lost some loved ones to cancer and this is a tribute to all the children and their families. Well maintained and organised. Kudos to your team.
- Dr. Sushila Krishnan, Radiologist
- It is a very bold effort to give courage to some child who is slowly fading but fighting cancer. What you have created at the children's ward is a family that will fight and survive their own battles.
- Mrs. Ann Jacob
- Our small effort is nothing in this massive venture. You have created and filled a void to alienate the suffering of these angels. We feel humbled.
- Mr. Sam Ponraj, Architect
- It was a birthday for my son but with a difference. The best celebration and satisfaction for me and my family. My day was made. We will spread the word to other kind hearted souls.
- Anshul Ramanathan, 10th Grade Student
- I worked with two volunteers, Nick and Alexis, from George Washington University, USA who taught me the concept of art therapy. Since they did not know how to speak Tamil, I acted as a translator and communicated with the kids. Together, we indulged in arts and crafts, playing carrom board, charades, song and dance sessions and even some math and handwriting. I was also given the opportunity to shadow Dr. Aditya on his rounds, where I saw dozens of kids in pain, sick and thin. Not only was it hard on the kids, but it was also hard for their parents. Most of the families that come here are very poor and can’t afford going to a regular hospital which is what makes the Adyar Cancer Institute a very special place. It really opened my eyes and made me look at the world in a different perspective. The happy, cheerful kids in the play area downstairs differed greatly from the sad and suffering children in the patient rooms upstairs. This year, volunteering at the Adyar Cancer Institute taught me important life lessons like never giving up and keeping a positive attitude. I am extremely thankful to Mr. Manohar for the opportunity.