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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feature: Helping kids with cancer thru Philhealth Run: The Mindanao Run for Hope

by Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

There’s nothing like enjoying for a cause.

Such is the Philhealth Run: The Mindanao Run for Hope, the highlight of the agency’s 17th anniversary celebration, to be held on February 5, 5 am at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.

The Run for Hope is aimed at helping 'Kids of Hope' or kids afflicted with cancer admitted in Davao Medical Center, the only tertiary hospital capable of multidisciplinary care for children with cancer.

Although based in Davao, the program caters to all children from Mindanao and beyond, who, at their tender age, are beset with a very tough test.

The need to extend help to these kids was magnified by data from Cancer Warrior Foundation Executive Director James Auste saying 2,500 out of the 3,500 children diagnosed with cancer die prematurely due to lack of money to buy their medical needs. Auste furthered that there is only a 20% survival rate here in the Philippines compared to 80% in developed countries due to expensive treatments and medicine, and the lack of pediatric cancer facilities in the country.

Being the country’s health insurance institution, Philhealth plays a vital part in the battle against cancer but they admit that while it is true that they provide benefits for cancer patients, long term medication and actual cost of medicines, laboratory examinations and treatment procedures limit the support value it offers.

Thus, Philhealth, in partnership with private and other government organizations, is conducting the Run for Hope to build awareness and raise funds for the Kids of Hope. This activity will bridge the provision of financial assistance to the kids, and to six other local beneficiaries across Mindanao.

PhilHealth Run also aims to educate the public that childhood cancer is a curable disease while encouraging multi-sectoral cooperation among public and private individuals and institutions to improve, expand and equip the beneficiaries with better resources.

Philhealth Run will be simultaneously conducted in other parts of Mindanao like Butuan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Koronadal City, Marawi City, and here.

Philhealth IX is targeting 2,500 runners to participate in this run-for-a-cause tapping all stakeholders and all sectors to join the activity.

In support to this, Civil Service Commission IX Regional Director Macybel Alfaro-Sahi issued Regional Memorandum Circular no. 10, series of 2011, enjoining all government agencies to participate the event.

As a concrete example of Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s Private-Public Partnership (PPP), several private and business groups teamed up with Philhealth to make sure that the activity will be a success here in the city, namely

A registration fee will be collected from all the participants with the proceeds to be given to the Kids of Hope and other beneficiaries.

There will be four race categories for the event, the 3 kilometer run for kids and adults with P250 registration fee per runner, the 5 kilometer run (P300), 10 kilometer (P350), and the 17 kilometer run (P450).

Participants will be receiving singlet, raffle ticket, and loot bags from partner-sponsors the KFI-Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc. (KCCDFI), ABS-CBN, Nature’s Spring, Smart, Ritemed, Dole Philippines, CIS Bayad Center, and All Card Plastics Philippines, Inc., together with local sponsors Metrografix, MEMPCO, Bygems Party Kingdom, Zamboanga Forum, Philippine Veterans Bank, and Vista de Lente.

All interested participants can now go to Philhealth office for registration. (JPA/MVC/PIA9-ZBST)

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