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Uganda Cancer Run 2014

Even the world’s mightiest rivers have humble beginnings. They start as tiny springs, bubbling up to the surface, or as a single, melting snowdrop. As the rivulet trickles down, it brings new life to everything it touches. Soon, other tiny streams join its path and together they unite as a river, ever more confident and forceful.

 
Even the world’s mightiest rivers have humble beginnings. They start as tiny springs, bubbling up to the surface, or as a single, melting snowdrop. As the rivulet trickles down, it brings new life to everything it touches. Soon, other tiny streams join its path and together they unite as a river, ever more confident and forceful.
 
The Uganda Rotary Cancer Program is no exception. It all began as a trickle of an idea, just a dream which we shared with enthusiasm with friends and corporations. 
 
At the Kampala Serena hotel, Rotary Uganda held its first Rotary/Corporate breakfast in the early morning of July 8th 2010. At the end of which came the question that was to light the candle of hope: What is it that we can do together to serve humanity that would create a “Bigger, Better and Bolder” impact? 
 
The answer did not come easily. It took brainstorming sessions of friends and together, we zeroed on CANCER. We then set the agenda. Cancer had to be dealt with and immediately.  Then came the generosity of St Francis’ Hospital Nsambya who donated the land. 
 
From then on, the momentum was sustained by generous donations from over 50 corporate organizations led by Centenary Bank and other friends of Rotary like Crown Beverages, National Housing Corporation, Bank of Uganda, Hima Cement and Rotarians here and abroad who have given their time, professional and technical support, personal resources and determined faith. 
In August 2012, we launched the Cancer Run Marathon as the flag bearing fundraising vehicle. The response has been a humbling and proud success for us. We had over 8,000 participants the first time and then the number grew to over 13,000 last year. 
 
This year, however, was very different. With H.E Ali Hassan Mwinyi coming in as the Chief Runner, Kampala was literally set on fire. We registered over 20,000 runners. 
 
August 31, people arrived at the venue as early as 5.30 am! We had aerobics to warm up from about 6.00am. The Chief Runner arrived at 6.56 am and hell broke loose. The excitement created by his arrival became a nightmare for the security teams guarding the VIPs. Everybody wanted to ‘see’ Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi, the 90-year old former head of state of Tanzania who had come all the way from Dar to run for a worthy cause.
 
Our Chief Runner flagged off the 21km race team at 7.15 am followed by the 10km at 7.25 am. He and Mama Khadija then joined the 5km runners and were flagged off by H.E Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, the Vice President of Uganda, a Rotarian, at 7.40am. There were over 20,000 runners in total.
 
We had five cancer runs concurrently in other towns of Arua, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and Kyenjojo. As DG Harrish later observed, ‘this must have been the biggest Rotary Day in the world in 2014-15’.
 
We also had a raffle this time with the first prize being a car. Other prizes included two plasma TV sets, a business class ticket to any destination in the world, shopping vouchers and many more. 
 
The plan is to finish construction by December 2014 and to admit our first patient hopefully by January 2015. With God on our side, we are sure it will happen. Yes, all this has happened because you Rotarians and corporations have stood by our side throughout this journey. 
 
I am infinitely indebted to all the Rotarians, Non Rotarians, Institutional friends and partners who wholeheartedly dedicated their time, effort and resources to make this run such a success.  You have all done so in the face of extraordinary challenges.
 
Another report ..... click here
 
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