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Inaugural Lung Cancer Awareness ‘Ready Set Breathe’ 2023 Community Fun Run – A Successful Collaboration Between Sunway University and Lung Cancer Network Malaysia

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Runners in action

The inaugural Ready, Set, Breathe Lung Cancer Awareness Charity Fun Run was held recently at Sunway University (SU) on 11 November 2023 to mark World Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Following a brief inspiring opening address from Professor Abhi Veerakumarasivam, Provost of SU, the five kilometer run flagged off by local Member of Parliament (Subang P104), The Honourable YB Wong Chen, kicked off from the university campus at 6.30am taking the nearly 400-strong crowd of runners on a scenic route around the lesser-explored areas of leafy Sunway City and Sunway South Quay. The event was organized by SU in collaboration with Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) to raise awareness of lung cancer and highlight the importance of early detection through screening in addition to raising funds for LCNM’s awareness activities and research.

Upon crossing the finish line, participants were greeted by an assortment of refreshments including the beloved iconic Malaysian Milo truck, an exhibition truck from MAKNA (Majlis Kanser Nasional) displaying infographics on various types of cancers affecting Malaysians, and informative sessions on lung cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer screenings by LCNM and the Nasopharyngeal Cancer Society of Malaysia (NPCSM) respectively. Younger participants with energy to spare competed in a fitness challenge for sponsored prizes.

Prof Abhi Veerakumarasivam (Provost of SU), Dr Anand Sachithanandan (LCNM Co-founder) and YB Wong Chen (Subang MP) (from L to R) at the end of the run.
Organisers from SU including Dr Lau Tze Pheng (third from left) and Assoc Prof Felicia Chung (5th from left) with Prof Abhi, Dr Anand and YB Wong Chen proudly display LCNM’s patient guide (available as a free digital download at www.lungcancer.net)

LCNM past president and co-founder Dr Anand Sachithanandan, a cardiothoracic surgeon, noted the enthusiastic turnout and well-executed event was testimony to diligent planning by the academic staff and students of SU. “LCNM is delighted to have collaborated with the young talents at SU to raise much needed awareness and funds for improved lung cancer care here. We look forward to further collaborations next year especially with targeted screening of at-risk individuals from the B40 community, with innovative artificial intelligence (AI) enabled chest radiography and low dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans” added Dr Anand.

Reflecting on what motivated her to organize this event, co-organizer Dr Lau Tze Pheng, a molecular oncology senior lecturer at SU, remarked “people with lung cancer often get diagnosed late and face tough odds. By embracing AI advancements, Ready, Set, Breathe advocates for early lung cancer screening through LDCT scans. We had folks as young as six years and up to age seventy running with us for a good cause. Let’s erase the stigma, take one step forward, and collectively lighten the burden of lung cancer in our community. Together, we can make a profound difference! “Now that we have created some buzz, we will look further towards highlighting our message of ‘early screening saves lives’ in future activities and iterations of this run”, added co-organizer Associate Professor Dr Felicia Chung Fei Lei, a lead cancer researcher at SU.

Participants eagerly awaiting the start of the fun run.

This event jointly organized by the staff and students of Sunway University and the Lung Cancer Network Malaysia was made possible with generous sponsorships from Siemens Healthineers, Thong Sia Sdn Bhd, Kelab Sosial Sunway, AstraZeneca Malaysia, Takeda, Sunway Medical Centre, Fuji Bakery Supplies (M) Sdn Bhd, Yakult Malaysia, Good Morning Global, and Nestlé Malaysia. For more on LCNM’s activities please visit www.lungcancer.net.my.

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