FOR the past 17 years, cancer survivor Azlina Abdullah, 70, has been taking part in events promoting cancer awareness in Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Perak.
“No matter where the event is held, I will be there to take part and give my support.
“These events are not only about promoting cancer awareness, it is about getting the volunteers, survivors and patients to come out and enjoy themselves.
“It is a day for them to mingle. People, not only cancer survivors, must realise that cancer is not a death sentence,” said the National Cancer Council (Makna) volunteer for the northern region.
Another survivor, Suguna Muniandy, 53, volunteers to help cancer patients at government hospitals in Penang, Taiping and Sungai Petani.
“I find comfort and joy doing this. Always find something to do to keep yourself happy and most importantly, get support from your family and friends,” said Sugana.
First-time participant Lau Lai Fun, 51, who survived breast cancer six years ago, said she was excited about the event.
“I am so glad that I came here because there is so much positivity around.
“I also managed to make some new friends.
“I don’t feel alone anymore in this fight. I am definitely going to sign up for more such events and bring friends so they, too, can learn about early prevention and detection,” said the kindergarten teacher.
Azlina, Suguna and Lau were among the 100-over cancer survivors who took part in Gleneagles Hospital’s Warrior Run held at Gurney Paragon Mall.
The run, held for the third year, is about raising awareness on cancer prevention, early detection, early treatment and importance of a healthy lifestyle.
The 6.8km event themed ‘Run for a Reason’ saw 2,228 participants.
It also marked the hospital’s 50th anniversary.
In his speech before the flag-off, Gleneagles Hospital Penang chief executive officer Ivan Loh said the word “warrior” was used to symbolise the brave people who had fought and who are still fighting cancer.
Loh also applauded the relentless spirit, positive attitude and courage of the cancer survivors at the run.
He said cancer was not just a battle for the patients but also a battle for their families and caregivers.
“Today, we also recognise the unsung heroes who are the caregivers.
‘They stand by their patients, offering unwavering support and love,” he said.
Penang youth, sports and health committee chairman Daniel Gooi said the event served as a reminder of the strength found in the community.
“Let this event be the start of a promise to ourselves to lead a healthier lifestyle,” he added.
The run also featured health screening, circuit challenges, GRIT workouts, immersive 360° photo booth and lucky draw.
Also present were Penang Sports Council director Harry Chai and Gurney Paragon Mall chief operating officer Koay Bee Fong.