Singaporeans unite in fight against cancer at Relay for Life 2018
13 March 2018
Wong Jeng Teng
Last weekend saw thousands of participants from all walks of life come together in solidarity for the fight against cancer in the second Singapore Cancer Society-TalkMed Relay for Life (RFL).
Contributing to the meaningful cause through sport, TeamSG Paddler Jason Chee, was at the National Stadium on Saturday night alongside many cancer survivors in the Survivor Lap, which was flagged off by President Halimah Yacob.
TeamSG Paddler Jason Chee at the National Stadium alongside cancer survivors in the Survivor Lap. Photo: Sport Singapore
“I feel very honoured and excited to be walking the very first lap with other cancer survivors. Because we all belong to the cancer-stricken community, we come here to inspire and motivate every cancer patient,” said Jason.
Tay Kuan Ming, director of the Singapore Cancer Society, expressed: “Jason’s story is all about having hope. It has encouraged all Singaporeans, from all walks of life, to give us hope in whatever we do, even in the face of adversity.”
“At the end of the day, we look to Jason as a shining example of the ‘never give up’ attitude.”
Jason, along with SportSG Deputy CEO Chiang Hock Woon, also penned some heartfelt words on the luminaria bags, dedicated to those who have passed away due to cancer, and those who are still in the fight. The bags, lined up along the running tracks, were lit up in unison later that night, followed by a moment of silence.
SportSG Deputy CEO Chiang Hock Woon (left) and Jason Chee with their luminaria paper bags. Photo: Sport Singapore
Besides the Survivor Lap, the Individual and Team events for the Normal and 100km Challenge categories also saw many participants taking part. The 100km Challenge required participants to try covering the distance through the night from 6pm on Saturday, to 9am on Sunday morning.
“[The 100km Challenge] represents that the fight against cancer, never sleeps and never stops. It also represents the fact that there’s always someone supporting people stricken by this disease,” added Tay.
In true testament to the community’s collective support for the cause, many sponsors and vendors were present at the National Stadium as well, in order to make sure participants were fueled throughout the night. Active Health and ActiveSG sports academies had also set up booths onsite to reach out to all participants and supporters of the relay.
ActiveSG sports academies had also set up booths onsite to reach out to all participants and supporters of the relay. Photo: Sport Singapore
Active Health team member Addy Suhairi Selamat, said: “This event gives us a good platform for us to share what Active Health can offer, as a way of preventing diseases, as well as a way of managing, if you are [recovering].”
As a cancer patient himself, Addy understands all the struggles and difficulties that comes with the disease, and he took up his position with the Active Health initiative as a personal calling.
“I feel for everyone here today because I’ve been there. There are some exercises that I can’t do anymore, [like endurance running]. I was looking into what I can do, and I felt that Active Health was right for me,” said the 56-year-old, who started with the team when he returned to work in early 2017 after another bout of cancer treatment.
21-year-old Amanda Tan, who visited the Active Health booth, said: “The booth was very interesting. I’ve never seen anything like this by ActiveSG. I think this movement is very meaningful because Singaporeans [can] forget about keeping themselves fit and healthy.”
Stella Chia, pictured above with her daughter, was at the event to support her husband in his 100km Individual Challenge. Photo: Sport Singapore
Stella Chia, who attended the event to support her husband in his 100km Individual Challenge, was moved to see the community coming together to get active for a meaningful cause.
“It’s quite good, [everything is] quite family-oriented. There are activities here for the kids and the family, and for the serious runners, they have the team and individual events.”
“I think everyone should feel really encouraged, because [we all came together] for a greater cause, for the cancer survivors,” she expressed.