He used his disorder to champion ALS awareness in the country

He used his disorder to champion ALS awareness in the country
The charity event took place at Armani Hotel Dubai recently, with over 300 people attending.

Dubai - Emaar Properties stepped up support to Peter's cause by conducting an organisation-wide #CHALLENGEALSDXB campaign.



By Saman Haziq

Published: Fri 14 Jul 2017, 8:46 PM

Last updated: Fri 14 Jul 2017, 11:09 PM

When Peter Van Wyk, senior director of hospitality development at Emaar, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - a progressive neurodegenerative disorder - he was determined to find a way to raise money for research and heighten awareness of the disease in the UAE.
Emaar Properties stepped up support to Peter's cause by conducting an organisation-wide #CHALLENGEALSDXB campaign that gained positive response with employees buying and wearing the specially created badges for the ALS campaign and the funds raised going to the Al Jalila Foundation.
To date, over Dh20,000 has been raised through the SMS donation, largely through the Emaar network. Emaar employees are encouraged to change their WhatsApp and social media profile pictures to the #CHALLENGEALSDXBlogo.
Emaar Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Emaar Properties, also organised an art auction to further support the cause. Funds raised from the event, that witnessed the auction of artworks by eL Seed, Mattar bin Lahej, Beth Cullen Kerridge, Anna Masters, Petr Weigl, Ben Barrell, Fadi Sarieddine, Khalid Shafar, together with a number of local artists, were contributed to Al Jalila Foundation for the much-needed research in ALS and to support ALS patients in the UAE. The charity event took place at Armani Hotel Dubai recently, with over 300 people attending.
While the auction raised a total of $87,725 (over Dh322,000), Emaar doubled the funds to a total of $175,450 (over Dh644,000). All proceeds from ticket sales of the event will also be contributed to Al Jalila Foundation.
Peter Wan Wyk said: "It is heartwarming to see the support extended by my Emaar family and their commitment to raise awareness on ALS. Being diagnosed with ALS was difficult but I decided that it was important for the world, especially the region, to know more about the condition so that it helps people to be vigilant about the symptoms. The campaign by my colleagues at Emaar and the support extended by Al Jalila Foundation are invaluable. With such initiatives, we can raise awareness of ALS and support people with the condition to manage it better."
Dr Abu Bakr Al Madani, head of neurology at Rashid Hospital and vice-president of Emirates Neurology Society who is treating Van Wyk, said: "Peter has been extraordinary in his resolve not to bow down to the condition but to take up the task of raising awareness for ALS."
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "The courage and resolve of Peter to fight ALS and to champion the cause of ALS awareness is deeply inspiring. As an organisation committed to its employees and the community, we believe it was important that we extend our support to Peter."
 
saman@khaleejtimes.com

What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
A motor neuron disease, ALS is a rare condition that affects the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement which ends up in total paralysis and eventually death. The condition is progressive and there is no effective cure or treatment to halt or reverse the progression, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Awareness of the condition is critical, as medical research says, identifying early symptoms can help in preventing complications and living with the condition easier.
 


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