Organisers to award cancer researchers Dhs285,000 at Annual Abu Dhabi Terry Fox Run

February 3, 2014 9:30 am

Four medical professionals whose cancer research projects have been funded by the Terry Fox Foundation over the last three years will be awarded with their final monetary instalment at this month’s Terry Fox Run taking place in Abu Dhabi on February 21. The Organising Committee of the Terry Fox Run Abu Dhabi is commending the researchers’ projects (valued at a total of Dhs1,189,000) and will be presenting them with a final cheque of Dhs285,000 on the Run day itself. The projects – which are conducted at different universities, hospitals and institutes across the UAE – are undertaken in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the UAE University in Al Ain.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently 7.6 million people who die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). Research suggests that one-third of cancer deaths can be avoided through education, the dispelling of myths and misconceptions and addressing the known modifiable risk factors, which are known to cause cancers. For example, tobacco, alcohol, poor diet and physical inactivity, some viruses and infections, sun and excess UV exposure.

The Terry Fox Run is an annual event that brings the community together and plays a major role in supporting medical research that is not only helping to raise cancer awareness among society, but that is also financially contributing to research conducted here in the UAE.

Organisers say that Terry Fox Runs held in Abu Dhabi and other cities in the UAE means that the nation is playing an important role in the accelerating search for the cure and prevention of cancer.

The projects that are receiving the final instalment cover a wide range of treatment methodologies and investigative research, including:
1. overcoming resistance to cancer treatment drugs,
2. the use of genetically mixed retroviruses for gene-based cancer therapy,
3. the role of anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. aspirin) in preventing cancer cell growth, as well as the effects of various genetic factors on cancer progression, and,
4. a new strategy to aid the body’s immune defences to tumours by inhibiting a type of white blood cell that protects the tumours.

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. Since the first Terry Fox Run was held in the UAE in 1994, the Runs have collectively managed to raise around AED15 million, financing 42 cancer research projects. The money was raised at the annual Runs through donations as well as food and t-shirt sales.

The non-competitive Run – which is being held on the Abu Dhabi Corniche on February 21 – is under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to His Highness the President of the UAE. People can walk, run, roller-blade or skateboard, and the course is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Registration begins at 7 am and the Run itself will start at 10am. T-shirts will be available for purchase, and cash and cheque donations will be gratefully accepted on the event day.

For more information, please contact:
Mohammad Al Azzam
Weber Shandwick
Tel: +971 2 4494457