Posted by Guest Blogger on April 18, 2012
Nelia Medina, MaxStation in the Philippines, is our Guest Blogger today. She works closely with the local patient group in Manila called Touched by Max and today she tells us about how their local group chose to celebrate life.
As early as 4:00 in the morning, kids and adults started pouring into the park to register. Some came from far-away places and traveled long hours by bus to get there. Before the walk, the enthusiastic participants assembled for a 30-minute aerobic exercise led by a professional instructor. With the theme Celebrate Life, the participants clad in purple shirts started to march at around 6:30 a.m. The kilometer walk began at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, a famous landmark in Metro Manila, and continued towards the Philippine Heart Center. They carried balloons and posters with meaningful slogans to inspire people living with cancer. They also aimed to increase public awareness on the emerging needs of cancer patients. Some of the slogans were read as “We deserve a chance to dream bigger, laugh louder and live longer,” “Get up, Live and Conquer,” “Beat discouragement so be happy and enjoy life, I am a fighter,” and “Together we walk, to each other we give hope.” They walked hand in hand in jolly moods while enjoying the attention from curious passersby. One of the marchers was the husband of a CML patient, who recently had a stroke and is undergoing physical therapy. Although slightly limping, he was happy to join his wife and be able to reach our final destination.
More than 300 CML and GIST survivors along with their families and caregivers joined the Walk for Life on March 24th. It was the first walk organized by members of Touched by Max, which coincides with celebration of the 9th GIPAP/4th NOA Anniversary in Manila. With us was The Max Foundation’s Executive Director, Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, who travelled to Manila to show her support to the advocacy campaign of Touched by Max, Inc. Her presence further inspired the marchers.
Would you like to inspire and honor those living with cancer? Organizing a walk is a great way to do that! It also offers an opportunity to raise awareness about cancer and to promote healthy lifestyles. We encourage our patient groups and friends who are interested to consider doing this as a way to Celebrate Life.