Muscat: Thousands of people from all walks of life, dressed in pink and blue t-shirts attended the cancer awareness walkathon on Tuesday, which was organised by the Oman Cancer Association (OCA), as part of its Pink Ribbon initiative.
Organised at the Qurum Natural Park, the walk drew a large number of people—students, working professionals, women, men and children—who all came together for a noble cause, to spread awareness about cancer.
Hasna, a student at one of the Indian Schools, who came with a group of friends to the walk, said, “I am really excited to be part of this walkathon, it’s my first time and I am here with many friends of mine, we all decided to come together and help raise awareness about the cause of cancer. I think the Oman Cancer Association is doing a commendable job on its part and such walkathons need to be organised more frequently, I am looking forward to it.”
An annual event, which is held to increase awareness on cancer among people living in Oman, the walk is a very anticipated event. Last year’s walkathon registered well over 7,000 participants.
OCA had launched a ‘Pink Ribbon’ initiative back in October to create greater awareness in the country.
Adam, another attendee, who works for a private company in Oman, came with his wife and little daughter.
“It’s my second time at this walkathon and I like taking part in every such initiative which is organised, it’s a great feeling where we see so many people joining hands for a truly good cause. It gives out a strong message that Oman wants to bring about change. I can still see so many people, who are stuck in traffic and are trying to get to the venue to be part of this great initiative, this is amazing.”
“We had been creating awareness at a number of the malls—at the Muscat Grand Mall, Muscat and the Qurum City Centre, Al Mouj Muscat, the Oman Avenues Mall, where we advocated for cancer awareness, prevention and control and also talk to people on a one-to-one basis,” said Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi, chairperson of OCA.
The annual walkathon, which is now in its thirteenth year, started at the park after 4pm. T-shirts, caps, mugs and other merchandise were also placed on sale before the event.
Al Kharusi reiterated the need for raising awareness about preventative measures against cancer.
All proceeds from the walkathon will be donated to Dar Al Hanan, an association dedicated to helping young children with cancer.
Dar Al Hanan is an outreach programme that serves the needs of children with cancer and their families, who are residing outside of Muscat. The centre first opened in 2011 and always has 12 families under their care. They offer three meals a day and a shuttle service to and from the hospital.