SIBU, July 27 – A total RM200,000 was raised for MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional) through the Malaysian Medical Association’s (MMA) Cycle for Cancer 2022, a 1,100km bicycle ride from Sandakan, Sabah to Sibu, Sarawak.
As many as 35 participants (10 cyclists and around 25 volunteers), including two cancer survivors, a British national and two Singaporean nationals, took part in the ride which took 10 days (July 15 to 25, 2022) to complete. The oldest cyclist participating was 69 years of age.
Along the route, the cyclists passed through Telupid, Kundasang, Kota Kinabalu, Lawas, Miri, Niah, Bintulu, and Mukah, before finally arriving at the Paramount Hotel in Sibu on July 24 for the closing ceremony, where a cheque with the amount raised was presented to MAKNA.
Sarawak Deputy Minister of Public Health and Housing Michael Tiang joined the cyclists for the final phase from Taman Tuanku Bujang to the hotel. In his speech, he congratulated the organisers and pledged a contribution of RM3,000 to Sibu MAKNA.
Dr Muruga Raj, MMA president-elect, also acknowledged the success of Cycle for Cancer and congratulated the team, saying that it has achieved its aim of raising awareness and funds for the cause. In his speech, he also shared how it is important to have a positive mindset if diagnosed with cancer.
“Both my parents were cancer survivors. My mother at 62 had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer while my father at 62 had a major operation to remove a carcinoid tumour. Although the prognosis was not favourable for them, both went on to survive another 25 years while enjoying a reasonably good quality of life,” said Dr Muruga.
“My dad was even driving at 82 years of age and both travelled the world together with my mum in their old age. It was indeed their positive mindset that made the difference. It gave them many more years added on to their lives,” he added.
Dr Muruga also said that Cycle for Cancer is an initiative where doctors can show their support outside of the hospital. “MMA will look into organising more of such programmes, where cancer survivors give their support and encouragement to cancer patients. It is tough going through cancer but with a positive mind, better outcomes can be achieved,” he said.
MMA wishes to thank Dr Sim Kui Hian (Deputy Premier of Sarawak and Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government), Sebastian Ting (Assistant Minister, Tourism – Sarawak), Tiong King Sing (Member of Parliament, Bintulu and Member of Sarawak State Legislative Assembly for Dudong), the Sarawak state government, Ministry of Health hospitals in Sabah and Sarawak, the Sabah Youth and Sports Ministry, Sabah Tourism, Polis Diraja Malaysia, IJM Land, Yayasan Sime Darby, Breeze, Medical Protection Society, Apex Pharma, PhAMA, Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu, Shamrock Botanics, K2 Life Water Industries, Tritonic, Aeropod by Setia Group, Eagle Rugby Club, Caesar’s Place, Nuluhon Garden Resort, Hotel Seri Malaysia Lawas, University Malaysia Sabah, Compressport, Imperial Palace Hotel Miri, Paramount Hotel Sibu, Frederick Kugan (Chief Conservator of Forests, Sabah Forestry Department), Cyclelogy Kota Kinabalu, individual donors, volunteers and the medical team from both states for their support in making Cycle for Cancer 2022 a success.
Zaidi Salim, 57, a cancer survivor and one of the cyclists who were among the participants thanked everyone for their support. “It is a hard experience. I thank everyone for the support and encouragement given to cancer patients. As a volunteer, I help in giving encouragement to cancer patients. There is a need to survive, there is a need to fight cancer.” he said.
All funds raised through Cycle for Cancer 2022 will go to MAKNA towards providing support for the various needs of cancer patients in Malaysia.