Photo: Hong Nhung (VET)
Program held in HCMC recently by Salt Cancer Initiative and Elite Fitness to raise awareness about cancer.
by Khanh Chi
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One hundred cancer patients and those with an interest in the disease gathered together recently at the Sala Urban Area in Ho Chi Minh City's District 2 to participate in outdoor yoga and a flashmob, called “Move for Happiness”. The program was organized by the Salt Cancer Initiative (SCI) in partnership with Elite Fitness to promote awareness and inspire a positive attitude towards cancer.
The event was held in cooperation with the Union for International Cancer Control to raise awareness about cancer and promote the prevention, detection, and treatment of the deadly disease.
Bringing two meaningful messages, “Not every cancer patient will die; we are still struggling and enjoying our beautiful lives” and “Cancer is our opportunity to live another life, to experience things we have never tried before”, the program hoped to provide strength to all cancer patients.
“When my disease was diagnosed, I began attending yoga classes at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles,” said Ms. Truong Thanh Thuy, Chairman of the SCI project. “There, I met elderly people who have been fighting cancer for over a decade. Those in the yoga classes helped me through the most difficult of times and I gained confidence that I could recover.”
At that time, Ms. Thuy’s biggest dream was to be able to hold a yoga class like this for cancer patients in Vietnam. Dubbed the “Queen of Startups” by the BBC and included in the “Forbes 30 under 30”, she was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2016. She shares her stories and life experience on a blog that has attracted thousands of followers who have then spread her story far and wide.
Over the past few years, Elite Fitness and SCI volunteers have done a great deal to help her make that dream come true. Today, with two classes per week at Elite Fitness centers, the yoga classes have created a community for cancer patients who dare turn fear into strength to live a more beautiful and meaningful life and experience things they have never tried before.
“Elite Fitness is not just a sports business; it also has a passion and enthusiasm for raising awareness and providing support to the Vietnamese community about health and physical training,” said Mr. Anthony Michael Geurds, Director of Elite Fitness in the south of Vietnam. “We believe that the key to success in a developing country like Vietnam is that each person, including cancer patients and their loved ones, find a source of strength in their lives to live healthier.”
“We are honored to be a strategic partner of SCI in providing resources, organizing physical training activities, improving the health of cancer patients, and, moreover, bringing spiritual values, community connections, and joy to the ill and their families. We have been working with SCI to organize weekly yoga classes for cancer patients, providing venues and coaches to support patients, and providing SCI with knowledge and information for the community about cancer and physical and mental therapy. This is in full harmony with our guiding values and mission.”