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Tuesday October 20, 2009

Cheer for children with cancer

THE 30 children suffering from cancer were all smiles when they were treated to a magic show, Indian and Malay delicacies and gifts at a DeepaRaya celebration organised by the Vijayaratnam Foun-dation at the QuestNet Malaysia corporate headquarters recently.

“Working with children is always a moving experience. And it is especially heartbreaking to come across so much suffering in such young lives.

Sweet treat: Umayal (right) and Makna general manager Farahida Mohd Farid (left holding the knife) cutting a cake with children suffering from cancer to commemorate the DeepaRaya celebrations.

“These children who we are having this event for are not just from underprivileged backgrounds but are also seriously ill,” said chairperson and executive board member of the Vijayaratnam Foundation Datin Umayal Eswaran.

“On this auspicious double celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Deepavali, we want to be able to do what little we can to ease their pain and give them a reason to smile,” she said.

The event was sponsored by QuestNet as part of its corporate social responsibility programme, “QuestNet Pays Forward”.

QuestNet Malaysia general manager V. Navaratnam said his organisation was proud to be able to contribute and be a part of the DeepaRaya celebration.

“Most children have all the time in the world to live out their dreams, but for these children, being able to wake up and face a new day itself is a miracle,” said Navaratnam.

“Life has dealt them harsh realities at such a tender age. But it has not stopped them from smiling. Being a parent myself, I find their spirit very admirable,” he said.

The children, aged between three and 16, are from low-income families and are currently under the care of the National Cancer Council (Makna) which funds their medical treatment.

Makna founder and president Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin said he was proud that the organisation had created awareness about cancer in Malaysia and had today earned the support and respect of many corporate bodies.

“As a social enterprise, Makna has to be continuously creative and aggressive in our approach to help as many cancer patients as possible. I am especially glad that this initiative with Vijayaratnam Foundation involves children.

“Considering many of these children are going through or have gone through a painful experience, we are really fighting to keep them in high spirits.

“Every bit of support we get will certainly go a long way,” Farid said in a statement.

Aside from sponsoring the celebration, QuestNet will also be presenting Makna with a cheque for RM10,000.