BUKIT MERTAJAM: They look like any other children doing their Ramadan shopping with their cute and smiling faces.
But these 50 kids, who made a happy scene at a hypermarket here yesterday, are cancer fighters.
Aged between six and 10, they are undergoing treatment at public hospitals.
They were brought to Mydin Departmental Store in Bukit Mertajam by their parents with the help of Friends of Childhood Cancer Northern Region (Foccan), which has been helping these children and their parents to cope with their struggle against the disease.
“It’s tough to be stricken with cancer at an early age, and the children and their parents are totally unprepared for it,” said Foccan president Maznah Taib at Mydin yesterday.
“Today’s programme is part of our activity to bring the children and their parents for Hari Raya shopping, just like any other family.
“It’s to put smiles on their faces, to let them enjoy their childhood during Ramadan and forget all the pain for a moment,” she said.
Foccan sponsored the shopping, which saw the kids revelling in the chance to choose their own Hari Raya clothes.
Maznah said the children were at stage one and two of the disease and since the organisation was formed three years ago, a few in stage three under Foccan’s wing have died.
“We have about 20 volunteers, who are mostly cancer survivors, who visit the homes and counsel the parents.
“The association also hands out cash to poor families until they get their initial contributions from the National Cancer Council,” she said.
Foccan receives funding from corporate companies and the public for its activities.
State Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Armada head Muhammad Shameer Mohamed Sulaiman, who officiated the programme, said the party has been helping the association for some time after seeing their good work.
“There should be more companies coming in to help the association as part of their corporate social responsibility programme,” he said.