My experience as a volunteer


In 2010, in Toronto, I saw a short 4 minute video about the IAD clinic at the Lymphedema Matters Conference; I was awe of their work and results. The following year at the third ILF conference, also in Toronto, Dr Guruprasad was there in person, giving a workshop about the treatment protocol and demonstrating the yoga postures and breathing exercises: asanas and pranayama. Wow!

I never thought that life would bring me to India, but when it did, I knew one of my priorities was to volunteer at the IAD!

My brief 13 day visit brought me in contact with several patients and was jam packed with information. The aim of the clinic is to send the patient home in better shape than when s/he arrived, trained, along with the caregiver(s), usually family members, in the treatment steps that they have been doing together every day of their 14 to 21 day program.

My experience as a volunteer has been completely positive, the staff is welcoming and friendly and extremely gracious in sharing their knowledge.

The clinic has a designated staff member, Mr Sajith who is your go to person throughout your stay, making sure that you are oriented, comfortable, informed, and well fed! There is total support from him as well as the entire staff.

I was surprised at how much time everyone gave me, Dr Narahari, Dr Bose, Dr Guruprasad & Mr. Vivekananda were very generous in this respect.

I had sessions booked every day with at least one staff member and I was introduced to every aspect of treatment and care, as well as community projects and the inspiring history of the IAD. I was shown many presentations, about counseling, the admission process, diagnosis, treatment, Yoga and Ayurveda, massage, bandaging, compliance and the difficulties faced by many patients environmentally & economically.

I participated in morning rounds; saw the amazing improvements of patients not just physically, but emotionally as well. I was invited to do as much as I wanted to, and I was always grateful to the staff and patients for allowing me to witness the hard work and recovery.

One of many remarkable things about the clinic is the fact that the expert staff are training the patient and his/her caregiver(s) to do all facets of the treatment themselves , since daily compliance after release is the only way to maintenance and further improvement of the condition, this teaching is done with compassion, patience and good humour!

My greatest frustration was simply my inability to converse fluidly with all the staff at the IAD. Everyone is extremely friendly, helpful & caring, with varying degrees of English fluency, all are very proficient in beautiful smiles, nice friendly waves, pats on the arm and big laughs and the seven Indian languages that are spoken there!

I am enormously grateful for my wonderful experience at the IAD! Thank you for giving me so much and for taking such good care of me. I hope to come back again and in the meantime, I will endeavor to promote this world class clinic.

I hope to see you again soon!
Thank you

Rosemary Kelly,
Certified Laughing Lymphercise instructor and trainer ,
37 Ravina Crescent, Toronto, M4J 3L9
17 January 2014