Pictured above: RIDT CEO Wilfred Kenely, Prof Christian Scerri, Head of the Dept Physiology and Molecular Biology at the University of Malta, ABCF Chairperson Helen Muscat, ALIVE Charity Foundation Secretary Elton Barry and Chairman Nicky Camilleri, and Malta Airport Head PR & Corporate Communications Reuben Sciberras
Forty cyclists will be covering an endurance route of 720km cycling from London to Brussels to Paris this July to raise funds for breast cancer research in Malta. The raised funds will go towards breast cancer research projects funded by the University’s Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT).
Called Malta Airport ALIVE 2013 Cycling Challenge for Cancer, the charity ride project is endorsed by the First Lady Mrs Margaret Abela, the wife of H.E. the President of Malta, Mrs Michelle Muscat, the wife of the Hon. Prime Minister and Mrs Catherine Gonzi, the wife of the Hon. Leader of the Opposition. ALIVE 2013 is sponsored by Malta Airport and is supported by the National Lotteries Good Causes Fund, QuickFocus.com part of 6PM Group, Impressions Print Possibilities, SpringBox Media, Garmin Malta, and ROCS Group. Other community sponsors include BUFF Malta, B&G Hardware Store and Falzon Group of Companies.
This initiative was announced today (8th April 2013) by Elton Barry, Secretary – ALIVE Charity Foundation in collaboration with Action for Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF), a lobby group of breast cancer survivors, patients and well wishers, during a press conference held at Malta Airport.
ALIVE is a non-profit making organisation which has taken up the commitment of supporting charities by organising diverse fund raising events. Most of ALIVE members are passionate cyclists and each will aim to raise a minimum of €1,800 for this fund.
Mr Elton Barry said that this idea came about when he was lying in hospital following three heart attacks at the age of 36 as he was taking stock of what he had done to leave the world a better place than the one he grew up in.
He said: “Our aim is to invest in long term benefits, such as the current project related to research in breast cancer, while raising awareness. Every year, ALIVE helps a different cause. We always strive to ensure that the health and safety of all participants in our fund-raising challenges are taken care of and everybody walks away with a positive experience.”
Set up in 2007 by Chairperson Helen Muscat MQR and co-founder Esther Sant, ABCF is an NGO affiliated with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Reach to Recovery International and Health Environment Alliance (Brussels). Among its numerous achievements, the Foundation lobbied successfully for the supply of quality standard breast prosthesis which is now being given free of charge to all women who undergo mastectomy from the breast clinic at Mater Dei Hospital. Since April 2012, ABCF has been donating a free mastectomy brassiere to women who underwent mastectomy. Another significant breakthrough has been the provision of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) through the department of health. Herceptin receptive breast cancer patients previously had to pay for this expensive treatment, some even having to re mortgage their homes. ABCF lobbied for the National Breast Screening Programme and even funded a seminar for family doctors to explain the whole system of screening and including them within the Programme’s team.
Chairperson Ms Muscat, said: “ABCF lobbies constantly in favour of better service and treatment for breast cancer patients. We are confident that the donations from ALIVE 2013 charity ride will assist researchers to develop better treatment for afflicted persons.”
Wilfred Kenely, RIDT Chief Executive, said: “ALIVE 2013 and ABCF are working together to drive this innovative and concerted initiative where patients and the Maltese society will benefit through scientific research conducted at the University of Malta. The University’s department of Physiology and Molecular Biology, headed by Prof. Christian Scerri is already conducting research projects in breast cancer and the funds raised through the ALIVE campaign will ensure that this crucial research is sustained in the coming years.”
The operational costs are estimated to reach the sum of €45,000, which will be covered by Malta Airport and a number of generous sponsors.
Commenting on this initiative, Reuben Sciberras, Malta Airport’s Head PR & Corporate Communications, said: “Malta Airport is proud to be associated with such an initiative. Over the years, our Company has remained committed to society and this particular challenge, whilst promoting a healthy sports activity is also addressing a key area, that of raising funds for research projects in breast cancer. It is imperative that corporate entities such as ours look at similar initiatives which although might not have short-term results, can surely lead to mid and long-term effects with considerable impact on the quality of life of a number of people in our society.”
Donations to ALIVE 2013 can be made online www.alivecharity.com via one of the options highlighted on the website. Donors who wish to sponsor a particular participant for the challenge, could either click on their picture, which can be found on the website in the section ‘The Challenge’, or by adding their name to the transaction description.
The public can also send donations by SMS on 50617364 (€2.33); 50618081 (€4.66); 50618913 (€6.99); and 50619208 (€11.65) or via Paypal to Beneficiary: [email protected] or via bank transfer:
Account No – BOV 4002149804-6 Alive Charity Foundation
Bank’s Bic – VALLMTMT
IBAN- MT85 VALL 2201 3000 0000 4002 1498 046.