Calabar, Nigeria – The Max Foundation is proud to announce it has been honored with an award by The Nigerian Society for Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NSHBT). The award was received by The Max Foundation’s CEO, Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, and presented by Nigeria’s Honorable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole (represented by Professor Thomas Agan), in a beautiful ceremony at the NSHBT’s 44th Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting in Calabar, Nigeria.
The Max Foundation was recognized on behalf of all Nigerians for “the remarkable improvement in the quality of life of survivors of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and related disorders due to the provision of free Glivec® therapy by The Max Foundation.” Since 2003, more than 1,100 Nigerians have gained access to treatment through The Max Foundation, and of those, 75% are still alive and contributing positively to their families, communities, and the nation of Nigeria.
“It is an honor to be here in Calabar, among friends and colleagues, to receive this honor on behalf of The Max Foundation and all its team members around the globe,” said Pat. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the NSHBT for their tireless work in caring for the people of Nigeria, and to our dedicated partners – Novartis Oncology, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Takeda, Tanner Pharma Group, and Cepheid – for making our programs possible.”
For Pat and a delegation from The Max Foundation, the ceremony in Calabar capped an 18-day journey across Africa to share knowledge, forge new relationships, and raise awareness of patient needs among partner institutions. Led by Cathy Scheepers, The Max Foundation’s Regional Program Officer in Africa, the delegation attended conferences, visited local hospitals, and met with patient leaders in Uganda, Ghana, and Nigeria.
“If you look at the demographics, most of our patients are from Africa,” said Cathy. “We wanted our partners to come here and experience the incredible vibrancy of African life and African people—and gain a firsthand understanding of the barriers to treatment access they so often face.”
In attending the ceremony in Calabar, Pat, Cathy, and The Max Foundation were joined by local patient leaders from Lagos, Nigeria. Other notable attendees in Calabar included: His excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State (represented by His Excellency Professor Ivara Esu Ofr, Deputy Governor of Cross River State); NSHBT President, Professor Matthew Enosolease; members of the NSHBT Executive Council; members of the Cross River State House of Assembly; Dr. Inyang Asibong and members of the Cross River State Executive Council; His Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, Emir of Kano (represented by Dr. Basheer Mohammed, Dankadai of Kano); and His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Out V, the Obong of Calabar and Royal Father of the Day.