Late last year, I was invited by a close friend and former co-worker to be part of a group from the broadcast company I used to work with that will join the Philhealth Run in Koronadal City.
Dubbed the Mindanao Run for Hope, this is the first ever simultaneous run to be held in six different cities of Mindanao. Aside from Koronadal, the event will take place at the same time, 5 am, on the same day, February 5, in Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Marawi and Zamboanga.
Checking out information about the event, I later learned that I would not only be running for my former network but for children with cancer as well.
The simultaneous run which features 3K, 5K, 10K and 17K distances hopes to benefit kids with cancer through the Southern Philippines Medical Center Children's Cancer Center and Blood Disease Unit based in Davao City.
Southern Philippines Medical Center is the largest public tertiary hospital and serves as a referral center for Mindanao. Its 25-bed Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Unit has a 120% average occupancy rate or 30 admitted patients daily. It sees about 200 new cases of child cancer annually and has a dedicated multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and support staff.
Approximately 1000 new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in Mindanao every year for children below 15 years old. But as the Run for Hope banner proclaims, "No Child Should Die in the Dawn of Life."
Proceeds of the Run for Hope will enable indigent children to have access to chemotherapy and supportive care, improved facilities and hopefully a Pediatric Cancer Center for Mindanao in the near future.
The run also hopes to raise funds for local beneficiaries of the different participating Philhealth offices.
Philhealth is targeting some 17,000 participants Mindanao-wide for this event in line with the agency's 17th anniversary celebration this year. Registration forms and information are available at Philhealth offices. You can also visit the Philhealth Run website at http://philhealthrun.org/ or the Philhealth Run page on Facebook.