PUTRAJAYA: The 2018 Merdeka Ride programme created history when two of its participants who suffered from cancer managed to complete a 140-km cycle from Gemencheh, Negri Sembilan to Putrajaya.
For Norazlina Esa, 39, and Zuraidi Mohsin, 47, the spirit of patriotism and love for the country is everything, and the illness they suffer is no obstacle to express their noble feelings.
They were among 61 participants along with 30 backup riders feted by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith shortly after completing the cycle at the ministry’s compound here today.
Speaking to reporters, Norazlina said despite her poor health condition, the cycle today was very meaningful to her.
The mother of three children who was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer two weeks ago said she believed the cycling would make her physically stronger to fight the disease.
“My participation is also aimed at encouraging other cancer patients not to give up, as well, not to ignore sports activities, because it can reduce the pressure they face.
“Although physically I was not stable throughout the journey, with the determination to show my love for the country, I managed to overcome my difficulties and reach Putrajaya,” she said.
Norazlina said she was lucky that her husband, Saiful Adly Abd Wahab, who is also the director of the programme, always encouraged her to continue with cycling, and it had now become a sort of ‘therapy’ for her cancer.
Meanwhile, Zuraidi said her participation was mainly to prove the point that cancer patients were also able to get involved in fitness activities.
She said she had made cycling a daily routine for the past few years, and it also motivated her to fight the colon cancer she began suffering in 2016.
“Two years ago the cancer was confirmed to be in the fourth stage, but I did not regard it as the finishing line of my life, and Alhamdulillah, by cycling 40 km a day, as well as taking prescribed medicines and undergoing chemotherapy, the doctor has confirmed that I am now recovering from this illness,” she said.
Meanwhile, Eddin Syazlee in his appreciation speech expressed admiration for the spirit shown by the two participants, describing it as a never-say-die attitude which everyone should emulate.
He said despite facing such a heavy burden, both participants remained steadfast and passionate in expressing their love for the country through their participation in the programme.
“From the Government’s perspective, I see it as a signal from the people that they love this country, and want the administration to provide the best service, to take Malaysia to greater heights,” he said. - Bernama
Norazlina Esa, 39, and Zuraidi Mohsin, 47, the spirit of patriotism and love for the country is everything, and the illness they suffer is no obstacle to express their noble feelings. (BERNAMA)
© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd