MALACCA: WHILE some wept for members of their families, relatives and friends who had succumbed to cancer, others celebrated for having survived the illness.
Despite the mixed emotions, all those who attended the state's chapter of the Relay For Life (RFL) Malacca 2012 had one common goal -- to fight cancer.
Relay For Life Malaysia 2012 chairman Datuk Zuraidah Atan said the event honoured and celebrated every cancer survivor's life.
"As we find inspiration in their strength and perseverance, we do not forget those lost to cancer as they will always be remembered and we hope that, one day, cancer will be eliminated.
"Most people deem cancer as a grim subject, but the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) thinks otherwise and through RFL, hopes to show the other side of cancer, which comprises determination, strength and hope."
Zuraidah was speaking at the launch of RFL by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.
Present were State Health committee chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow and National Cancer Society Malaysia chairman Dr Saunthari Somasundaram.
RFL, held for the second time here, is coorganised by NCSM and the Malacca International School.
The function began at 6pm on Saturday at the Malacca International School field and ended at 10am the following day (yesterday).
RFL Malacca is an overnight, community-based event to celebrate cancer survivorship and raise funds for NCSM's cancer awareness projects.
Zuraidah said NCSM's aim is to use the funds raised through RFL to support its community outreach programmes in rural areas and provide people with free screening services and cancer education.
"This year, NCSM will offer free mammogram services for underprivileged women in Malacca, with proceeds raised from RFL Malacca 2012.
"Vouchers will be provided through the Malacca Cancer Society which will help in identifying these women.
"The list of names will then be forwarded to our partners; Putra Specialist Hospital and Mahkota Medical Centre.
At nightfall, a symbolic luminaria ceremony was held to honour survivors and to remember those who died.
RFL is an international event mooted by the American Cancer Society. It is held in 22 countries and has raised more than US$1 billion (RM3.17 billion).-NST