Renee Aziz Ahmad has a motto she loves sharing with everyone: “Cancer is not a death sentence”.
Previously a senior general manager at the country’s largest highway concessionaire PLUS Expressways Berhad, Renee was told that she had stage four metastatic breast cancer in 2016.
But that has not stopped her from leading a relatively normal life, taking part in many strenuous activities, such as hiking and mountaineering. She even completed a marathon indoors at the height of Covid-19.
“I had breast cancer in 2001, but it was under control. Everything was good until I received the news in 2016,” said Renee, who turned 62 on Sept 18.
“That was seven years ago, and I am still standing. I always say, ‘It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings’. I live my life as normally as I can.
“I am looking forward to next week’s Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM), where I will compete in the 5km event to raise funds for Hospis Malaysia.”
Renee was an avid runner before her diagnosis in 2016, but still exercises as often as possible.
She, however, said she would “depend on muscle memory” as she has not competed in running events for nearly two years.
“I had difficulty breathing and could not walk very far. In March, I was admitted to the hospital to drain fluids from my right lung,” said Renee, who took some time to recover.
“I feel a lot better now. I am breathing better, but I know I can never be 100 per cent again.
“But that will not stop me from completing the distance on Saturday. I want to enjoy the run, and I want to make an impact. I want to help Hospis Malaysia and raise awareness that cancer, or any illness, is not a death sentence.”
She added that while she may not have the pace to be on the podium, she has the willpower to finish any race.
That willpower saw her complete the full marathon distance of 42.2km in her home during the virtual KLSCM in 2021.
It took her over 11 hours – including breaks – but the sense of achievement was an incredible high.
“I had previously competed in 10km and 21km races, but a full marathon was challenging. It helped that it was a virtual race, as it meant I could do it according to my pace and take breaks when needed,” said Renee, who quit her job in 2017 to focus on her recovery.
“There was no Run for a Reason (RFAR) during the virtual races (in 2020 and 2021), but I am back this year to raise awareness for Hospis Malaysia.
“In 2019, I chose the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) as the recipient for my RFAR.”
The KLSCM is over two days. On Sept 30, there will be the 5km and 10km runs and two Kids Dash races – 1km and 2km. The half, and full marathon events will be held on Oct 1.
Over 40,000 participants will be at Dataran Merdeka throughout the weekend in the only race in Malaysia to earn the World Athletics’ Road Race Label – which recognises the event as ‘one of the leading road races around the world’.
THE MUSIC OF WHITNEY HOUSTON
The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra will bridge the gulf between pop and classical music to celebrate the timeless music of Whitney Houston on Saturday, Oct 14.
Conductor Brent Havens will lead MPO with the powerful vocals of Broadway sensation Rashidra Scott at the Plenary Hall, KL Convention Centre.
Ticket prices start from RM198.
PAW WOW MALAYSIA – WOOF-A-THON 2.0
Participate in HOWL-O-WEEN’s endeavour on Oct 21 at Ardence Labs, Eco Ardence, Shah Alam, to save and find new homes for shelter dogs.
There will be a Halloween Woof Fashion Show, Woof Sharing, Paw-Wow Bazaar and more!
INTERCOM BLUES 2
Two weeks ago, I had issues with my debit card while entering a mall. This week, I experienced another issue.
Another mall in Subang Jaya has a new parking system where the machine scans your number plate.
To pay for parking, you need to scan and pay via E-wallet. However, the system is slow.
After scanning the QR code, you are redirected to a website where you have to input your vehicle details and choose how you will pay.
As I was in and out of the mall in less than 15 minutes, it showed RM0.
I happily drove to the exit, but the display on the machine said that I had not paid the RM1 fee.
Confused, but in a hurry, I followed all the steps and made payment (it took five minutes), but the barrier did not budge.
I explained my predicament to the guard via the intercom. The guard demanded to know why I did not pay before exiting.
Then, he asked me to return to the parking bay and try to come out again, but I could not, as a truck was behind me.
It went on for another 10 minutes, by which time the truck had reversed, and the driver gave me dirty looks as he exited via the other gate.
Sigh, why must parking be so troublesome and intercom speakers so muffled?
I love the Astro Go app, as I can watch all my favourite shows and football matches anywhere, any time.
However, I learnt that it is not compatible with all Android tablets.
So, make sure you test your new device before buying it.
FIVE-INGREDIENT OATMEAL COOKIES
Oatmeal cookies have a bad reputation for being bland, but this recipe might change your mind.
HEY, GOOD LOOKIN’
The late great Hank Williams was born 100 years ago last Sunday. Here he is with the classic, ‘Hey, Good Lookin’’ that he released in 1951.
Williams borrowed heavily from Cole Porter’s 1942 hit of the same name.
Many artists have covered the country song, but Williams’ version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.
Until next week, stay safe.