by Ishavari Mokadam, Maanas Deodar, Richa Mahajan, and Sia Lawrence, the GTF Group, Suwanee, GA
Blood clots, or more formally known as, thrombosis, are very common in our lives. Knowing that one blood clot is formed every minute, one death due to blood clots appears every 6 minutes, and blood clots kill more people than the combined total of traffic accidents, AIDS and breast cancer is highly disturbing and scary knowledge. While the existence of blood clots may be known to a few people, it is not common knowledge at all. We at GTF know that one of the reasons for the high incidence of thrombosis is lack of awareness of blood clots in the community. Our goal in GTF is to broaden as many minds as possible to forestall the increasing percentages of Thrombosis, with the hope of saving precious lives.
Since its inception in 2011, the Global Thrombosis Forum (GTF, www.gtfonline.net) has made great efforts in spreading awareness of blood clots (thrombosis) in communities, along with saving lives.
Despite being in the U.S., several ethnic groups celebrate Indian festivals in the traditional manner in an effort to keep the spirit of India alive. Recently, our group received the great opportunity to address attendees at the Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam (GATS) Pongal event regarding Thrombosis. We successfully helped them understand what blood clots are, how serious they are, how to identify them and how to effectively manage them.
Our team consisted of the following members:
Youth Leader: Richa Mahajan
Young volunteers in the team: Ishavari Mokadam, Maanas Dheodar, and Sia Lawrence.
Details of the project
This project was given to us by the Board of GTF as an effort to increase the awareness of thrombosis in the community.
Date: February 12, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Venue of the project: Duluth High School, Duluth, GA
When we arrived at the venue, we coordinated with the events manager of GATS to identify our assigned booth and began to set up all the materials. After addressing the directions provided, we set up posters, banners, and proclamations. We began by having two volunteers look after the booth while the other two explored the venue and approached individuals. To our surprise, there were many doctors and individuals working in the healthcare field that visited the GTF booth. They sincerely appreciated the initiative we took by conversing with others about Thrombosis. Our team also invited many attendees to the booth as they were walking past us. Before beginning to inform individuals, we reassured them that we were simply spreading awareness and not asking for donations. The youth leader, Richa Mahajan, gave us excellent coaching on how to approach people throughout the event. Having an experienced coach such as Richa really made a positive difference in the success of the project. Throughout our experience, we explained who we are, what we are doing, what GTF and thrombosis are etc. We collectively talked with the attendees about various aspects of thrombosis, what causes thrombosis, what are the symptoms, and how to prevent thrombosis. Additionally, we distributed flyers specifically prepared for this occasion. Many attendees were unaware of what thrombosis is, and most were curious to learn more about it. We approached about 110 individuals to inform them about thrombosis, ways to prevent it, and its increasing prevalence in society.
From this experience, we learned to be patient with people and how to communicate under different circumstances. Our team worked very well together and had a successful reach out to a total of 110 people. This event was a great way to be more outgoing and learn better communication skills, as well as working with a team. We believe that we met the objective of this project by informing as many people as possible relating to thrombosis. We achieved our objective by talking to the attendees about thrombosis, and spreading awareness to the people who did not know about thrombosis.
To our great surprise, most people were interested in listening to us with the exception of a few. Our greatest obstacle that decreased the number of people attracted to our booth was the unideal location. Our booth was positioned in a location such that attendees could check in to the event and go sit in the main auditorium without passing by our booth. We resolved this issue by approaching the attendees, rather than waiting for our audience to come to us. This obstacle was unexpected, but it allowed us to improvise and think on our feet. Furthermore, we realized that more people approached booths that had interactive activities or candy/treats. We did not have any secondary plan to overcome this obstacle, but we have taken note for future reference.
From this project, we gained confidence in our ability to approach strangers and effectively educate them about GTF. We also learned that some people may not be interested in what we have to say and that is completely acceptable. Our group was incredibly pleased with how the project turned out and would highly appreciate having more of these opportunities in the future.
The event helped us understand the importance of leaving behind our fears to reach our objective. We appreciated working and interacting with all the volunteers, along with having a group leader who thoroughly presented instructions.
Additionally, this booth allowed GTF members to get familiar with one another while building on group dynamics, which led to our success.
We would like to thank the BOD of GTF and Mrs. Archana Athalye for coordinating this event. Great appreciation also goes to our parents who helped with gathering pictures and assisted with the booth setup. We also want to thank Dr. Atul Laddu for helping with the report and coordination of meetings between members before and after the booth.