Evelyn from Abbott Malaysia called us the next day right after Jaja’s appointment with Dr. Tang. Abbott is the main organizer for the event. The event is actually ‘Meet MY WIRA’ campaign. WIRA stands for Malaysia Women in Rheumatoid Arthritis. She briefed us on the event and informed us that there will be a dialogue session with the Health Minister Dato’ Seri Liow Tiong Lai after the launching. She asked us about Jaja’s history and her current condition. We were being told that they might ask Jaja a few questions like her hobbies and ambition. So I keep drilling Jaja with those questions so that she’s prepared for it.
We drove to Bentong early Saturday. Poor hubs. He just arrived from KL that nite and the next day, he needs to drive on the same road again. We arrived Bentong Hospital at 11:30 am. We were led to the hall where the event will be held and we were introduced to other arthritis patients. 1st patient is Hazira from Alor Setar. She’s 13 and has Juvenile Arthritis since 7 years old. She came with her mother Puan Norliza and her sister. 2nd patient is Kak Eliani (Kak Eli) from Bukit Setongkol, Kuantan. She’s a very jovial person and we clicked immediately.. hehehe.. She just got arthritis 2 years ago and lucky her, she detects it early. So her arthritis condition is under control for now. Later after lunch, we met another 2 patients. Madam Ding Mee Hong is the ambassador for MY WIRA. She has been living with arthritis since early 20s. She’s 50 plus now. She has undergone several joint replacement surgeries because of arthritis. She came with her husband. From the body contact, I can tell how supportive her husband is towards her. Madam Ding told us the importance to get early treatment and join the support group. Some patients can get stressed if the arthritis condition is not under control. She also emphasized on monitoring the arthritis condition regularly with a Rheumy. The last patient is Aunty Pavarathy. I didn’t have enough time to chat with her because she joined us quite late and she sat quite far from us during the event.
|Getting a glimpse of fame :-p|
I’m so glad to meet all these heroes. Most of them were very supportive towards Jaja. They showed Jaja their special fingers and told her, ‘that’ condition doesn’t hinder them from doing routine activities. Jaja has been asking me for quite sometimes why is her little finger crooked. At least now she knows only special people have fingers like her ;-)
The launching event was simple but yet meaningful. My eyes were teary when they showed MY WIRA montage. Right after the montage Madam Ding stepped forward and shared her stories and aspiration. Abbott Malaysia's General Manager, Mr. Muru Annamalai then gave a very inspiring speech mentioning all the 'heroes' involved in the campaign. Last but not least, the Health Minister of Malaysia gave his ‘sepatah dua kata’ and launched the event.
|Hazira, Madam Ding & Jaja|
|Playing with her Kak Hazira|
|The montage that made me teary|
|Madam Ding sharing her story|
|Hazira, Kak Eli, Madam Ding & Aunty Pavarathy|
|Dialogue session with Health Minister|
|Dr. Azmilah & Dr. Tang Swee Ping|
|Jaja with Dato' Liow|