Since I've received queries on this year's Be Frank campaign, I guess it's much better that I explain it here. And I am sorry to share that the Be Frank campaign isn't happening this year, well at least under my annual Comrades Marathon fund raiser. Don't be mistaken though as the Be Frank campaign is always happening every day of the year, just that it's under a different way whether through seminars, boot sales and more.
A lot has happened since late last year and that played a significant role in my decision not to fund raise this year. With the passing of friends locally and around the world due to cancer, the somber mood continues to affect me. Experiencing the pain of being diagnosed with the disease was already painful enough but yet with a passing each month since the month of December last year isn't something a survivor would like to know or go through. I shared my thoughts with Dr. Teo, CEO of Cancer Research Malaysia back in February 2016 and she respected my decision and was supportive of it too. I just hope I didn't let her and the rest at the foundation down with my "selfish" decision.
And knowing that to fund raise, lots of work needs to be done especially on the marketing side. However, I am not a person who likes to be marketed and instead prefer to stay low profile. Probably that was the reason the funds didn't flow in really well the past few years, which left me pretty frustrated. And there was this issue where people started asking on where did the funds raised goes to and not in a nice manner too. Am not mentioning names but if you are reading this, you should know that it was you or who was it. And for your info, all the funds raised benefited cancer research at Cancer Research Malaysia, previously known as CARIF for a better tomorrow and every cents is certainly worth it.
However the good news is, if that you believe and agree with what I've been doing and am still doing in trying to raise awareness and to fight cancer, you can still lend a helping hand by little gestures such as helping to spread the word, through donations of any amount or even by purchasing gifts such as collar pins, badges or even the book "From Cancer To Ultramarathons" which I wrote last year as all the money received there will be channeled to Cancer Research Malaysia for cancer research purposes.
Therefore, yes. Despite being my 10th year of running, my half decade of running the Comrades Marathon and also and extra race 3 weeks later to fulfill my running bucket list at the West Highland Way Race, I will not be campaigning under Be Frank this year. I hope all of you will respect my decision and understand my situation, and hopefully it will return again the next year. And for the past 5 years of fund and awareness raising, I thank all those who have supported from the bottom of my heart.