Publication: Daily Express
Kota Kinabalu: A fundraising Mount Kinabalu climb, dubbed “Climb for Cancer”, by the National Cancer Council (Makna) raised more than RM131,000 in aid of cancer patients.
The effort, the third organised by the Council, involved five Makna staff and 14 volunteers who not only paid for the climb themselves but also raised an additional RM2,000 each to partake in the event held on Tuesday.
And thanks to a dedicated website, volunteers from as far as Bangladesh, Norway and Hong Kong also took part in the event.
Ahmad Nazri Hamzah, a cancer survivor and also a national disabled athlete, also made the 4,095-metre ascend which ended on Wednesday.
Makna’s Deputy General Manager, Vemana Appanah, said the number of climbers had grown each year, showing an increasing interest among concerned individuals in the fight against the disease.
“The climb signifies the determination to overcome difficulties. And having a cancer survivor, Ahmad Nazri, an amputee, to participate in it is one of our greatest achievements,” he said during the fundraising- cum-appreciation dinner held here on Friday night.
Ahmad Nazri, 24, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 14, is one of the beneficiaries of the Makna’s appeal.
Ahmad Nazri had just graduated from a polytechnic in the field of business and is a member of the national wheelchair basketball team.
To date, around 4,500 cancer patients have benefited from Makna aid and “no one has been turned down,” said Vemanna.
All the funds raised will be used to ensure an uninterrupted supply of financial assistance, surgical equipment, liquid food, prostheses, prescribed drugs for cancer patients and provide scholarships to young cancer survivors.
The fundraising dinner also saw 30 volunteers receiving their certificate of appreciation while eight of them were identified as Potential Volunteer Leaders, who will be responsible in building volunteer teams in East Malaysia.
It is understood all Makna volunteers have to undergo a mandatory training which includes Makna introductory programme, basic nursing care I and II, home and hospital visits, cancer awareness and exhibition and fundraising activities.
They also have to undergo a monitored periodic assessment and volunteers are promoted to become leaders and expand the volunteer network at their locality.
The eight potential leaders are Matahari Ismail, Helmie Yusof, Christopher Ruddy Foong, Zainab Batin, Elvinna Lanjim, Norazirah Ayob, Cherylyn Jurit Ak Azlan Pg Othman, who were awarded the blue vest in order to execute their duties effectively.
Makna, which was officially launched in 1995, was founded by the then Deputy Health Minister Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin, and it has collaborated with 92 hospitals nationwide and provided financial and medical aid to patients.
The appreciation dinner, meanwhile, raised some RM21,600 in aid of the Makna’s causes.