Relay For Life KL celebrates strength, courage and love of cancer survivors in 13th edition of solidarity walk

Mark Ryan Raj
Participants of RFLKL 2019 are pictured with heart-shaped balloons in support of the fight against cancer at Dataran Petaling Jaya July 27, 2019. — Picture courtesy of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia

PETALING JAYA, July 31 — The celebration of strength, courage and love of cancer survivors will be the theme of the Relay For Life Kuala Lumpur (RFLKL) 2019, the signature fundraising event for the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM).

This year’s event which was held last Saturday, at Dataran Petaling Jaya (Padang Timur), marks the 13th consecutive year that the cancer celebratory and remembrance evening event has been held in Malaysia.

Launched worldwide in 1985, Relay For Life made its debut in Malaysia in 2007, with the sole purpose of the event being to unite communities by walking or running around the track in a show of solidarity and support for the fight against cancer.

RFLKL also aims to celebrate cancer survivors, remember lost loved ones and raise both awareness and funds for cancer, with a new 5km Fun Run added to its list of activities.

Chairperson for RFL KL Datuk Zuraidah Atan gives her opening speech. — Picture courtesy of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia

“Our cancer survivors are heroes without capes — for having great courage and strength.

“Through their ordeal, they still take care of their family and engage with peers in the midst of doctor’s appointments and treatments,” said chairperson for RFLKL Datuk Zuraidah Atan in a press release.

She added that the cancer survivors involved in the event were “very dedicated passionate” to spread cancer awareness in the hopes of helping more people.

Relayers take part in a warm up activity during the event. — Picture courtesy of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia

In a bid to provide better services to cancer survivors, like wellness classes and workshops, counselling services, support group activities and nutritional advice, Zuraidah said that all funds collected from the event are to be channeled to the Resource and Wellness centre for NCSM.

With over 2,000 participants in attendance, the event started off with a Survivors Lap for all the cancer survivors, to commemorate their battle with the disease, which was then followed by a giant ribbon formation to properly kick-start the event.

One of the highlights of this year’s event was the introduction of the 5km Fun Run, which requires participants to run 12 laps around the field, with the top ten finishers receiving hampers worth up to RM300 from VitaHealth Malaysia.

But it wasn’t all just walking and running around a track as there were other fun-filled activities to entertain participants too.

Participants also got to take part in fun activities that promote wellness, health and cancer awareness like "zumbathons", a pilates class and a luminaria ceremony, which saw participants dedicate messages to lost loved ones and survivors who conquered cancer.

The luminaria ceremony where participants light up lanterns and candles with heartfelt messages to lost loved ones. — Picture courtesy of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia

There were also live performances from artists Amir Hasan, Brendan Aloysius and De’ Raden, as well as dance performances by Fransisca & Friends, The Butterflies and Breast Cancer Support Segamat.

Cancer survivor, Navi Indran Pillai stressed the importance of celebratory events of this nature.

“As a cancer survivor, RFLKL is a celebration to honour loved ones lost and celebrate the new lease of life we have been given.

“This is our platform to come together as one to fight against this disease, give hope and spread awareness on cancer.”

RFLKL 2019 is supported by Astro, Bridgestone Tyre Malaysia, Baskin Robbins, Accenture Malaysia, VitaHealth Malaysia, Idifynetz, Alla Fonte Minerale, CGC Malaysia, PIDM, MSD Malaysia and Brother International.

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