May 16, 2010

Relay For Life 2010 – The social media initiative

It’s time once more to bring out your sleeping bags and get together for a night out under the open sky in support of Relay for Life 2010. I’ve participated in it back in 2008 and due to work commitments was unable to do it last year. So this year I promised myself that I will have to make up for missing it and this time stay for the whole duration of the event.

Relay for Life 2010

Relay for Life 2010

If you don’t know what Relay for Life is then head over to their official website to learn more. In a nutshell Relay for Life is organised by National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) and is held yearly to raise funds and be part of a global fight against cancer. For 16 hours everyone gets together in a carnival like enviroment to celebrate cancer survivorship, to remember those who succumbed to it and also to support those who are currently still battling it.

This year there will be a social media initiative in support of Relay for Life organised by Niki Cheong. The main aim of this initiative is to gather all bloggers, twitterers and other social media folks to help raise funds for NCSM. More details can be found here.

The social media initiative

The social media initiative

A few of us gathered in Bangsar to sign up for Relay for Life. For just RM 15 you can help NCSM with the battle against cancer and you get a shirt to wear on the day as well. If you want to join in the social media initative they will be a meetup again next weekend, details will be posted as soon as it’s finalised.

Khairul with the Relay for Life 2010 t-shirt

Khairul with the Relay for Life 2010 t-shirt

Relay for Life is going to be awesome and it would be great if you can come join us help raise funds for NCSM. The more the merrier especially when it’s for such a good cause 🙂


Relay for Life
Relay for Life – Social Media Initiative
The Star – Pledging to help those in need

 For those who have never been to Relay for Life don’t worry it’s not a race !! Here’s an old blog post on my experience during Relay for Life back in 2008.

Relay for Life 2008

Having missed the Relay for Life last year I promised myself that I will go for it this year. Just having landed back in KL the week before I found myself totally not prepared for the event and boy was I relieved when I got there. In my mind I had an impression that Relay for Life was going to be a serious event where people will be running around non stop supporting the good cause but it was nothing like what I had expected.

First of all getting there was a nightmare. The roads were jam and even if you make it to the car park there weren’t many signboards pointing the way. Many of us just walked towards the stadium and then decided to ask for directions. Upon reaching there however I was totally amazed. It felt as though I was at a carnival.

I’m glad to have been part of such an amazing event and when the survivor lap started I couldn’t help but look at them in admiration and respect. Here are a group of people who were given lemons and made the best lemonade possible. They showed everyone that cancer is just a disease and not a death sentence.

It was a fun-filled night and the moment that really hit a soft spot was the luminaria lighting ceremony. People who have lost their loved one placed luminarias along the track and during that moment of the night, they lit it all up. The lights in the stadium were dimmed down as everyone hushed down to keep a moment of silence as they say a little prayer for their loved ones.

Throughout the night I was walking around the track, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone, sometimes even stopping to watch the performances on stage and not forgetting to  stop and read the messages written on the luminarias. Some of them were really touching and though I’ve not lost a close family member to cancer, I’ve seen a loved one go through the whole chemo process and it indeed was a heart wrenching moment. Suddenly I felt as though my presence there was just not enough and I wanted to run. This time it was personal.

I had my backpack with me and wanted to leave it in a friend’s tent but at the same time was afraid to leave it there cause no one was around. Then I thought of my other friend who was at the food stalls, it would be much safer there compared to leaving it alone in the tent. Then it suddenly hit me, wait a minute .. Why am I trying to get rid of my backpack ? Well it definitely would make running easier and my backpack weighs a tonne. Like my backpack cancer has been a burden to all those who has them and are they are still struggling with it daily.

Unlike me they don’t have a choice to just leave their cancer behind because it’s tiring. They can’t just take it off their back and pass it on to someone to take care as they concentrate on a certain task. So with my backpack I ran, though not very fast obviously but that didn’t stop me. I ran as far as I could for it was not a race to see who was faster, for me it was a battle between the mind and the body. While I was running all I could think about was my past, the memories of being in the hospital watching a loved one suffer from all that medication and chemo treatments. I continued running and the memory and stories I was told by my friends who have lost a loved one to cancer came to mind. The heart skipped a beat and suddenly I was flooded with emotions and it was becoming unbearable and the only way to I knew how get rid of it was to run even more, so I ran. I ran for myself, I ran for my friends who has lost a loved one, I ran for those who suffer from cancer and also for those who are still struggling with it. After what felt like forever I stopped drenched in sweat. I finally felt somewhat satisfied.

Next year I will definitely be back to run even more and next time I’m bringing a lot more people with me !!!

1 Comment »

  1. […] first person to show up was Yogaretnam, and I was even happier because he said that he saw my Tweet and that’s how he found out that […]

    Pingback by #RelayKL Social Media Initiative Meetup this Sunday « Niki Cheong — May 20, 2010 @ 7:03 am | Reply

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