FoCP Signs MoU with American University of Sharjah for MENA’s first ‘Relay for Life’

 Partnership will provide essential facilities and logistics support

08 May 2017Sharjah

As part of the first event of its kind in the MENA Region, the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP) has teamed up with American University of Sharjah (AUS) to help facilitate the inaugural of the UAE’s ‘Relay for Life’, cancer fundraising campaign, taking place on 17-18 November.The event is organised by FoCP, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, and AUS will provide the venue for the global initiative, which was first inspired by a solitary fundraiser in the USA in 1985 who collected $27,000 for cancer research.In signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), AUS has agreed to supply the sports grounds for the event, display logos of the sponsors, support FoCP with venue security and support the event with volunteers and parking.In the coming period, FoCP will organise a series of activities, workshops and events to drive participation in the initiative.

It will include a number of visits to universities, schools and official and civil institutions around the UAE.Advertisement HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FoCP Board of Directors, says the partnership is a great endorsement of how much interest has been shown already and how eager individuals and organisations are to be a part of this very special occasion.“Relay for Life is a wonderful event with a mission that so many people associate with. It is an opportunity to do more than just donate, it is a chance to take part, to show your passion, and to show your devotion to the cause. Tragically, too many people understand the pain and heartache that cancer brings and this event is one way to make a difference in easing that anguish.

We thank American University of Sharjah for their kindness and their contribution in helping us to make this a truly remarkable event.”Speaking on behalf of the university, Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah, said: “We are pleased to partner with Friends of Cancer Patients. They are known across the region as stalwarts of cancer awareness and prevention and this event provides an opportunity for us to play a part in their extraordinary work.”Since Dr. Gordon Klatt, ran on a track in Washington for 24 hours, the event has evolved into a global movement featuring thousands of cancer survivors, caregivers and friends and families who gather together to take turns relaying around a track and to hold vigils to remember loved ones who have lost their fight to the disease. The organisers of the MENA’s first Relay for Life say that the initiative is an extremely valuable one for the community.

Relay for Life events host teams of 5-15 people, with the stipulation that there is always at least one person from each team jogging around the track at any one time. Participants take over in relay fashion, giving everyone the chance to run and to also immerse themselves in the other elements of the programme, which include survivorship activities and cancer educational sessions. To participate in the first ever Relay for Life in the MENA region, you can visit the website: www.FoCP.ae/relayforlifeuae, which provides all needed information about the initiative, its aims and conditions of participation.One particularly poignant activity at Relay For Life is the ‘Luminaria’ ceremony, which is a special time of reflection and remembrance for departed loved ones, with each bag telling its own story. The candle kits form a major part of the fundraising aspect of Relay For Life, with teams selling them to friends and family so they can dedicate one to someone they know. In the three decades since its inception, Relay For Life has expanded to 29 countries with 35,000 global relay teams participating in 1,000 relay events. Its activities have raised $80 Million USD in gross income, with $5 Million USD of this figure raised by students. Thirty thousand cancer survivors have been engaged over the 30 years and 275,000 Luminaria bags sold.

With the UAE event in November being the first Relay For Life in the MENA region. Friends of Cancer Patients Society was founded in 1999 to promote awareness about the six early detectable cancers; namely, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer testicular cancer, and colorectal cancer. The organisation is dedicated to providing moral and financial support to thousands of patients and their families, regardless of their gender, race and age. FoCP has so far succeeded in providing support to more than 3,700 cancer patients, including children, women and men in the UAE