Trio’s contribution to Project 60.1 proves humanity is alive

What do a cancer warrior, an accident victim and a once-obese journalist have in common?

Their names start with ‘M’ but more importantly, they all epitomise humanity.

It began with Project 60.1, a fund-raising initiative by Twentytwo13, which ended last weekend with a 26km walk.

It was a pledge I had undertaken to get money for Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) to help children who are victims of domestic violence.

I am not the fittest and toughest of people. Halfway through the walk, I suffered cramps but I hobbled on and finished the pledged 25km.

The three “M” mentioned above gave me the extra push to finish the walk and even do the 26th kilometre as a tribute to everyone who supported Project 60.1.

First is Michelle, a cancer warrior who is undergoing treatment. Instead of sulking and being resigned to her fate, Michelle is taking things in her stride.

The ever-smiling lady did not hesitate when I asked for donations.

Michelle’s only (light-hearted) lament is she looks like an ostrich as her hair is growing again and it is spiky. To me, she is one cool bird who is beautiful on the outside and inside.

Michelle and her husband celebrating their birthdays with their eight-year-old son last week. Their birthdays are just days apart.

Keep up the fight, sister.

Second is Matthew who had a nasty accident in Penang on Nov 7. He was unconscious for a few days. His liver was damaged and surgery had to be done.

Thankfully, the operation went well and Matthew regained consciousness after a few days.

He was still on the drip when he sent me a message asking for my bank account number so he could contribute. My heart melted.

This guy was in so much pain, yet he was thinking about doing something good for others.

Matthew’s cheekbone was fractured in the accident and he will have to undergo surgery for that too once he is better. He is at home resting and recuperating.

He is one of my holiday kakis and we can’t wait for this whole Covid-19 thing to be over so we can travel again.

Get well soon, Matt.

Third is another holiday companion and journalist buddy, Ming. This walk wouldn’t have happened without him.

I had gained much weight since the middle of last year. At the same time, Ming who was also obese, decided to do something about it.

He started dieting and jogging and after a year, he started looking lean and mean (in a nice way).

It is with Ming’s constant encouragement that I did the same. I got serious about my health, started dieting and walking to lose weight and get fit.

That’s not the end. Ming turned up on the day of the walk and did 26km too. In fact, he had finished much earlier (since he is much younger and fitter than me).

He rested for a short while before walking another few kilometres, urging me on as I was limping because of the cramps. My guess is he did about 30km or more in total.

Thank you, Ming.

Ming all smiles during his walk.

Of course, there’s everyone else who donated money and gave moral support. You all did your priceless part.

My colleagues, a few friends and WAO representatives also walked. Some did a few kilometres, others completed the 26km. It wasn’t easy as we also had to observe the CMCO rules but we managed.

It doesn’t matter how much each of us walked. The important thing is the joint effort also helped raise awareness on how everyone can play a part in making the world a better place.

The support we received was just overwhelming. A modest RM5,000 target almost tripled with RM14,100 collected.

The 26th kilometre was to thank everyone. You went the distance, so we decided to do the same.

Twentytwo13 is already planning something for next year. More will be revealed when the time is right.

Till then, I leave you with Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.”

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