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Published: Friday May 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday May 2, 2014 MYT 8:54:19 AM

Going the extra mile for cerebral palsy

Come take part in fundraising initiative to bring in specialist treatments to Malaysia.

I REALLY admire my good friend Jason, a hard-working individual who totally practises what he preaches.

Now that Jason has converted to Islam upon his marriage, some people just assume he is Muslim in name because he is from Australia. How quickly we Malaysians judge!

Jason has embraced Islam and Malaysia, and some of his other Malay friends feel a little malu (shy) when talking to him about fasting because he has paid back most of the days he missed when he fell ill during the holy month.

Unfortunately, Jason has his own set of life challenges and one of them is that his son, Zane, suffers from cerebral palsy (CP) — a non-progressive movement disorder that causes physical disability.

Jason and his wife have tried to seek the best treatment for young Zane. However, there are limitations to the treatment of CP locally because Malaysia does not have all the desired facilities or the latest therapies or support that is required to treat people with this unfortunate disability.

This is when some of Jason’s local friends, who are big fitness enthusiasts, came up with the idea of organising a fundraising campaign called Tri-ing To Help Cerebral Palsy.

The group will run a series of triathlons, where 50% of the funds raised will go directly to helping Zane by bringing specialist treatments to Malaysia, while the other 50% will be donated to the Spastic Children’s Association of Selangor and Federal Territory (SCASFT).

For their first campaign, which they are calling “4forZane”, Jason’s friends are competing in four triathlons over three months, the main event being the recent Ironman 70.3 in Putrajaya on April 13.

Two other events have also been completed — the Tasik Kenyir International Triathlon and the Penang International Triathlon.

The final event happens this weekend, where they will swap their road bikes for mountain bikes in the XTERRA Malaysia event, part of the international “off-road” series of triathlons.

Last month, Tri-ing To Help Cerebral Palsy signed an MoU with SCASFT on the partnership. The ceremony was held at the SCASFT premises in Petaling Jaya and was preceded by a tour of the building and facilities.

Some of my friends who attended the event said the tour was an eye-opener, especially when meeting the students, as it was an emotional and uplifting experience.

Seeing the photos from the event brought back memories of when some of my friends and I helped a similar group from SCASFT. These experiences remind us of how lucky we are.

We, as human beings, complain a lot. We complain about bad traffic, nasty bosses, horrible people and how our salaries are having to go through life every day without the simple moments we all take for granted that remind us of how lucky we are.

Getting a glass of water or just going to the toilet is a huge effort for these young innocent beings.

If you would like to help and want to know more, visit the group’s Facebook page at “Tri-ing To Help Cerebral Palsy.”

SCASFT and Jason’s family would really appreciate it. Remember, this is not only just about Jason’s family but also about the many other people in Malaysia who suffer from CP.

Ben Ibrahim is a TV host-anchor, writer and emcee. He has worked with a number of Malaysian charities for the purposes of raising funds and awareness so “others may live a better life.” He can be contacted on twitter@benibrahim

Tags / Keywords: Central Region, ben ibrahim, triathlon, cerebral palsy

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