Thousands of people braved the strong windy weather conditions on Friday morning and trooped to the Abu Dhabi Corniche to participate in the 17th Abu Dhabi Terry Fox Run.
The Terry Fox Run is conducted every year in a bid to raise cancer awareness and generate funds for its research in the UAE. The money raised is given to fund world-class, innovative cancer research in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the UAE University.
According to the organiser, about 18,000 people took part in the event at the Abu Dhabi Corniche and a total of Dh267,400 was raised yesterday alone.
Children along with their parents and people from different nationalities thronged in large numbers to run, jog, rollerblade or walk in this charity event to remember the contribution of Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete, humanitarian and cancer treatment activist.
The run was organised under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Residents from different nationalities started registering their names for the run from 8am. The event was inaugurated at around 10am at the Abu Dhabi Corniche by Shaikh Khalifa bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, grandson of Shaikh Khalifa, and by Ken Lewis, Canadian Ambassador to the UAE.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Nafeesa Taha, chairperson of the Committee, said, Shaikh Khalifa, Lewis and the Terry Fox Run Abu Dhabi Committee presented Professor Frank Branicki, Chair of the Research Committee in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the UAE University in Al Ain a donation cheque of Dh446,000.
This cheque is the first installment of a Dh2.3 million grant, the funds of which are a result of collaboration between the Terry Fox Run Abu Dhabi and its Al Ain, Dubai and Northern Emirates counterparts.
The Dh2.3 million, which is targeted to be raised at the annual runs through donations and t-shirt sales in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain over the next three years, will go towards funding seven cancer research projects.
The locally-funded and world-class cancer research projects will then be evaluated in Switzerland and Canada by a team of international oncology researchers.
Last year, over 15,000 people participated in the Abu Dhabi Run and in total, close to Dh600,000 was raised.
The research, which is evaluated in Switzerland and Canada, is undertaken by UAE-based researchers and scientists and is focused on the needs of citizens and residents of the UAE. The Terry Fox Run Committee also works with the Abu Dhabi Municipality and the Centre of Waste Management companies to clean up the area and route throughout the event.
The Abu Dhabi leg of the Terry Fox Run has been held every year since its inception in 1995. Terry Fox is expected to be held in Al Ain and Dubai in March but dates have not been finalised, Nafeesa said.