Over 30 athletes lined up for the Equator Run Road race to raise funds to build the first ever Children’s Cancer Hospital at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
The retired athletes braved the 3am morning chills at the Londiani hills along Nakuru-Eldoret highway in a company of Isla Lough, the daughter of former world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe, the cancer survivor.
The athletes, running in a relay format exchanged the baton to cover 80km to raise the Kshs 250 million cancer centre where ground breaking was done and laid the foundation.
Lough, the cancer survivor led her mother Radcliffe Kenyan runners like Mary Keitany, former world 3,000m steeplechase record holder Moses Kiptanui, former commonwealth Games marathon champion John Kelai among others.
She said when she was diagonised she was healed because of the good health services in her country.
“After one week when I was diagnised with cancer, I began my treatment and I was healed. I feel so sad that in sub Saharan Africa, 90% of those diagonised with cancer succumb to the disease unlike in developed countries where 90% of the patients are healed,” she said.
Radcliffe said that when her daughter explained to her, they immediately started treatment and she was healed.
“When my daughter explained to me I was hit very hard and we started the healing process and the results were good. Through that, we are giving the same chance to the children. We thought the best way to come together to overcome cancer in the country,” said Radcliffe.
Shoe4Africa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Toby Tanser said that for any athlete to run, they need a shoe and running Equator Run was good for them all.
“Equator means the centre and we wanted to involve all athletes to run and bring the family together. Running is a unifying factor in Kenya and we need to do this regularly,” said Tanser.
MTRH CEO Wilson Aruasa said that the project will serve the hospital well, adding on already Shoe4Africa Children’s hospital.
“With 150 beds hospital, we shall increase the number to 1,500 beds combined, we shall be providing good health services to over people,” said Aruasa.