Monday, June 1, 2009

Celebrate - Remember - Fight Back

Salam to all.

Alhamdullillah my plan to take part in the Relay 4 Life 2009 materialised eventho' I had slight cramps and back pains that day. E-Ya was initially against me going but I said nevermind lets just give it a try. After all this is my first experience joining such event and I want to see what's it all about. So the four of us, - 2 cousins, E-Ya and me set off after Asar, with my cousin Oji doing the driving. When we reached the stadium, parking was not a problem. We managed to get a parking space that's just about 50 meters from the entrance.

Once in the stadium we did not immediately seated ourselves but went on to tour the stadium grounds to see what's available at the many booths set up by various groups and organizations. Then we took a short rest and after that my cousin Oji was already inspecting the food stalls while my other cousin, Intan was busy meeting up with her friends from one of the support group that she joins. Overall I would say the turn out was not as many as I expected, maybe because it was a 2 day event and I was a bit early reaching there. Nevertheless the ground of the stadium was already filled with tents to be used by survivors and and non-survivors who wish to stay the night at the stadium.

At about 6 pm the emcee announced that the Survivor's Lap was about to start and all us survivors were asked to be on the track to start the walk.

I could also see many banners and placards representing either cancer support groups or various types of cancer, but I do not see any banner or placards with endometrial cancer on it, and since I'm not a member of any support group hemm... where should I stand in then? Ah lantaklah I said to myself, join aje mana-mana... tapi punyalah tak perasan rupa-rupanya group yang I join tu the leader was carrying the placard that reads "PROSTATE CANCER!" Hua hua hua. But why la yg bawak placard tu pompuan? No wonder I was confused...

The purpose of the walk is a testimony to signify to the public that there are many people that can survive cancer. The situation was not like 10 or 15 years ago whereby whenever you hear a person down with cancer its practically a 'no hope' situation for him or her. Nowadays cancer patients have several options of treatment that they can go for and it is only them that can tell which is best for themselves.

While we survivors were doing the lap around the track, non survivors who were standing at the sides of the field were encouraged to stick on to us a small encouragment sticker with the word 'Champion' printed on it. Well I had my fair share of stickers given by persons I don't even know who, and to them, my greatest thanks. I really hope that I stand up to the meaning of that word and one day be a champion in battling my cancer. Ameen.

Anyway enjoy the following photos that E-Ya and me took on that day:

Off we go ...survivors on the march

For once, no worried faces - only laughs and smiles ...

Laa ... ni minah kurus mana pulak yg terlepas tunjuk 'peace' ni? Dia silap event ni... This is Relay4Life kak oii .... bukannya 'Peace no War' punya campaign, hehehe...

There was also the participation of people who have helped make this event a success. They comprises mainly of volunteers and donors from institute of higher learning and corporate sectors.

This particular group of guys purposely shaved their hair to show support to us survivors. Salute you guys!

The people from KPJ health group

The two pics above... Survivors? Dunno ...,coz I did not hear the emcee's description of them. But they sure add color to the walk.

Tengah 'Lost in space...' mencari the endometrial Ca group yang rupa-rupanye mmng tak de ...Ishhh!

The highlight of the Relay 4 Life event was the Luminaria ceremony. It is the most inspirational moment of the relay. After sunset, families, friends and survivors will light up candles in paper bags bearing the names of those who had fought cancer. Below are examples of some of the luminarias that I managed to snap before my camera's battery went kaput.

No doubt that day I met a lot of survivors. Some have survived cancer more than 6 or seven years, but there are also some that are new, like me. In my eyes, they are all champions. They have shown that with high spirits and determination, cancer can be conquered.

Perhaps the greatest champion of them all on that day is this 11 year old girl, Nurul Islah Mohd. Shah who hails from Seremban. Much tears dropped that night when she read her journey fighting cancer.

Islah was diagnosed with brain cancer and after undergoing surgery and treatment she is free from it. But with a very heavy price to pay. She now moves around with a walker as a tumour in her central nervous system affects her body’s balance and motor functions. The cancer treatment also leaves her facial expression unchanged. Despite all that, Nurul Islah is optimistic about getting well soon. I hope she does too. Ameen.

Nurul Islah shown here with her sister Hannan

Since the Relay 4 Life is a 2 day event, participants of the event are encouraged not to sleep that night to signify how cancer never "sleeps". But then... even if cancer never sleeps, I do. Cancer patient needs ample rest to build up strength and immune system to fight cancer cells, remember? So off we went back home at about 10 pm... tapi sebelum tu ... kita posing dulu ....!

Isk isk isk ... anak anak sapa laa ni...

and last but not least - Pesanan dari penaja ...

Ingat tu Cik Kiah ...!


Dr. Hasanah said...

Che Gu, u have no problem with excess weight. Bravo!

r2d2 said...

Dear Prof,
Tu laa pasal... Thank God for that. At least one thing scrape from my list of problems :)

mamayati said...

Thank you for keeping us updated on the event. Seronok nampaknya, may be next time....

r2d2 said...

Dear Mamayati,
Yaa.. insyallah next year. Perhaps we, who got to know each other thro' our blogs can create our own group then eh?

Anonymous said...

Kak ana bangga, first time tangkap gambar boleh posing. Selalunya tak dapat full shot.Tahniah...tahniah!!!

Anonymous said...

Salam, ni Nurul Islah ni. Saya sekarang dah sekolah semula. Keseimbangan badan semakin pulih walaupun dengan kadar yang agak perlahan. Lawatilah blog saya di