March 27, 2017, Melaka– For the seventh year, residents in Melaka are getting ready to honour survivors and fundraise for support activities at the state’s biggest cancer awareness event.
Relay for Life (RFL), a 16-hour overnight event, gathers the community to support cancer patients, remember loved ones and raise awareness about the disease. Organised by The National Cancer Society of Malaysia, RFL Melaka will be held at Dataran Pahlawan on April 22 and 23 in 2017.
At the event, participants – totaling 3,600 in Melaka in 2016 – take turns walking around a field track from dusk to dawn. On-stage performances and exercise sessions, carnival style games and food are offered. Included also is Luminaria, a special remembrance ceremony in which people write messages on paper bags and light them up around the track.
Clare Ratnasingham, Chairperson of RFL Melaka, says the community spirit surrounding the event has always been unbeatable. “Through the years, it has received the support of national businesses, as well as local hotels, restaurant owners, and food vendors.
“Well known food vendors take a day off their businesses to attend the event. Some owners of popular restaurants who can’t make it would hold fundraising dinners instead. For years, certain hotels have offered free accommodation for our cancer survivors.
“Hundreds of volunteers – patients, survivors, caregivers and family of those affected by cancer – also sign up to help.
“All of this gives RFL Melaka the extra local ‘flavour’ and boost. It shows how committed is Melaka in the battle against cancer.”
Funds raised from RFL Melaka will support programmes that promote early cancer detection, cancer awareness, as well as activities that help rebuild the patient’s self-image and confidence. This includes free cancer screenings, comfort kits to the newly diagnosed, financial aid (in kind), and Weekly Wonder: a play therapy and education support programme for children with cancer.
“Treating cancer isn’t just about giving patients medication, radiotherapy or chemotherapy,” says Ms Ratnasingham. “NCSM has always emphasised that patients and survivors require a lot of emotional and mental support, and we have designed our programmes to fit these needs.
“The battle against cancer is far from over, and cancer never sleeps, as signified in our 16-hour overnight event. We hope to have even more participation at RFL Melaka this year. As our tagline for RFL 2017 is one world, one hope, it’s the best opportunity to show that everyone worldwide can unite for this cause.”
The National Cancer Society of Malaysia would like to thank Bridgestone, Dataran Pahlawan, Hatten Group, Fenix Inn, Hotel Equatorial, Estadia Hotel, Toto, Spritzer, Restaurant Selvam.
Zafirah Zamry, child cancer patient, showing her story book that she drew during ‘Weekly Wonder’ programme at NCSM Melaka
Plaque ceremony for Selvam Restaurant in Malacca who helped fundraised for RFL Melaka 2017
From left: Miki Chua (Project Manager, Southern Office of NCSM Melaka), Angeline Thackiam, Madam Vijaya Silvathorai, Clare Ratnasingham (Vice President of NCSM, Chairperson of Relay for Life Malaysia), Puan Puteh Shaharizan Shaari, Co-Chairperson of RFL Melaka)