Saturday, May 30, 2009

Relaying a message on cancer awareness

ABOUT 50 celebrities and their family members will be part of the 6,000 participants taking part in the Relay for Life Kuala Lumpur (RFL KL) 2009.
The RFL KL is a 16-hour non-stop excitement, where teams of people come together for camping out at the stadium and take turns walking or running around the track – all to raise the bar on cancer awareness and continue the fight to eradicate the disease.
The overnight event will be held today at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium from 6pm onwards and proceeds would go towards the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM).
Event co-ordinator actress and former Miss Malaysia Yasmin Yusuff said the response from the celebrities was encouraging.
“Last year, the event attracted over 5,000 participants and we managed to collect RM11,000. This year we are hoping to raise more than 15,000,’’ Yasmin said.
The fund raised will go towards upgrading of equipment and facilities at the Cancer Treatment Centre and to enable NCSM to provide efficient, quality services with state-of-the-art facilities to patients.
Among the celebrities taking part are Anna Schubert, Aishah Sinclair, Hans Isaac, Jaclyn Victor, Jessy Chahal, Joanna Bessey, Man Bai, Sazzy Falak, Chelsia Ng, and Jehan Miskin.
Through this event, which is in its third year, NCSM hopes to bring about an all-encompassing awareness on cancer so the public could understand the importance of early detection and screening to reduce the risk of cancer.
Participants in the RFL KL need not have to stay the entire 16 hours but would be urged to stay and give support to the others – survivors who have fought the battle against cancer and who are given the honour of walking the first lap.
Luminarias, a small bag filled with sand and candles would be lit throughout the event to honour and remember those who have succumbed to the disease.
“Participants are also encouraged to buy these luminarias and write their own messages to their loved ones before placing them with the other sand-filled bags.’’ added Yasmin.
She said the idea of the whole event was never let the track be empty during the 16 hours and there were no limits on people allowed on the track once the survivors had walked their first lap.
Yasmin added that the venue would be transformed into a carnival like atmosphere.
RFL was first started in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington where Dr Gordon Klatt walked for 24 hours to raise money for the American cancer Society and it had now become an international event staged in over 222 countries with over 3.5 million participants.
This year the RFL will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.


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