Access to healthcare is fundamental for cancer patients to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. According to ResearchGate, the average distance a person living in an under-resourced country travels to access healthcare is 15 miles (25 km) one-way or 30 miles (50km) roundtrip. Patients accessing treatment through The Max Foundation travel even further – an average of 135 miles one-way. The average patient sacrifices more than a full day commuting to and from healthcare facilities.

Limitations in transportation and cost prevent many patients from being able to utilize the fastest means of travel. For patients, this means multiple public transit rides, cycling, and walking to gain access to treatment.

At the 2021 Max-A-Thon, participants will step into the shoes of cancer patients to walk, run, bike or swim 15 miles (25km), 30 miles (50km), or 135 (210km) miles to support patients in Max programs.

You can Max-A-Thon Tony’s journey (15 miles).

While climbing Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, Tony noticed something wasn’t quite right. After the hike, he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2007 and prescribed treatment through Max programs. After several years of remission, Tony found himself stranded in Singapore after losing his job during the COVID-19 pandemic. His only access to lifesaving treatment remained in Malaysia. Despite global lockdowns, immigration restrictions, and 15-day quarantine protocols, Tony journeyed back and forth to Malaysia to receive his treatment free of charge.

You can Max-A-Thon Kailash’s journey (30 miles).

Kailash is a farmer in a remote village in India. Kailash travels for almost three days to reach his treating physician for his cancer. He starts his journey by taking the bus to reach the Nanded city railway station and after he reaches the railway station, he waits for 3 hours for the train to take him to Mumbai. Kailash arrives the next day at 9am and spends the night at a local school. The next morning, he takes another bus ride to Khargahar (a suburb of New Mumbai) to reach Tata Memorial Hospital. Once everything is done, he makes his return journey.

You can Max-A-Thon Ebrima’s journey (135 miles).

Ebrima is a 34 year old husband and radio hosting living in The Gambia, West Africa. After months of uncertainty and illness, Ebrima was connected to The Max Foundation where they found access to treatment for his cancer in the neighboring country of Senegal. Every 3 months, Ebrima wakes up at 4AM and hires a car to drive him to the ferry terminal. He takes a ferry from The Gambia to Senegal, and spends hours in line at immigration. Once through immigration, he pays to take a crowded taxi for the 8-hour journey to Dakar. He prefers the middle seat to avoid getting car sick. After 12+ hours of travel, Ebrima arrives at Dakar and stays with his sister so that he can walk to his appointment the next day.

Once a patient journeys to treatment, The Max Foundation provides free access to lifesaving medicine for as long as the patient needs it. We work to ensure that each of our patients journey matters. Because we can, we must.