Sad story behind Twentytwo13’s Project 60.1 to raise funds for WAO

There’s three weeks before the highlight of Project 60.1 – a 25km walk to raise funds for Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).

The project was launched just a week ago and response has been overwhelming with RM8,450 received so far from families and friends of Twentytwo13. The original target was RM5,000.

WAO will use the funds to continue with its programmes to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Some friends asked me why it is called Project 60.1. There’s a little sob story behind it.

I was supposed to do this project last year for my 60th birthday on Nov 28 but things went wrong.

First, I was not fit but had made big plans since early last year like walking 60km. As the months went by, I changed it to 60,000 steps which would cut the distance to about 54km.

As my birthday got closer, I slashed that by half to 30,000 steps (about 27km). I started exercising and dieting a bit. I thought I could always do the walk a month or two later.

But then, something else happened that derailed the whole thing. My son came home with high fever one day. We took him to the hospital that night and the doctor did a blood test. No dengue.

He sent us home with some paracetamol and said it could be a viral fever but advised us to return if the fever didn’t subside after three days. It didn’t

We were back at the hospital and my son was warded. More tests were done. He was very weak. They put him on the drip and said it would take a few days to accurately diagnose what was wrong.

That put paid to all my plans. I stayed at the hospital most of the time, keeping my son company. He was such a sorry sight. Everyone at home was just down and out and we feared the worst.

It was a day after my 60th birthday that they finally found out that my son had contracted typhoid. And the doctor said it was fortunate that we had sought treatment early. His liver was slightly swollen and it could have been worse.

He spent a few more days in hospital before being discharged. And it took him a few more weeks to recover and regain his strength.

That brings me to today. Project 60.1 – it was supposed to be Project 60 but now it’s a year later.

I have taken a step back this time and thought hard about it before concluding that 25km is enough torture for a 61-year-old man. Why go for 60km or 60,000 steps? Anyway, the idea is to prove that we all can make a big difference by playing a small part.

The project is to mark my birthday but more than that, it’s to raise awareness on the hard times the people are going through, especially now with the Covid-19 pandemic.

And my son’s typhoid episode has been a very good lesson on being cautious and not taking things lightly (re: Covid-19).

Stay safe everyone.

Twentytwo13 readers and other fellow Malaysians can donate directly to Women’s Aid Organisation at CIMB Bank Berhad 80-0238299-7 (Reference: Children’s Programme).

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