Abu Dhabi

Hundreds of runners brave rain to grant sick kids' wishes in UAE

Ashwani Kumar?/Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 11, 2020 | Last updated on January 11, 2020 at 09.13 am
make a wish, kids, wishes, uae, foundation

(Ryan Lim/KT)

Proceeds from registration fees - for the 5k, 10k and kids' runs - will all go to making wishes come true.

Hundreds of residents braved the rain and chilly wind on Friday morning to run and help grant wishes of sick children at the 10th-year anniversary event of Make a Wish UAE Foundation.

Following a spell of overnight and early morning rain, the foundation was doubtful whether participants would be heading out for its 'Run for a Wish' community event at Zayed Sports City.

By 6am, there were only a few runners at the registration desk. But just when it seemed like the humanitarian cause had been blown away by the gust of wind, by 7am, vehicles entered the venue in droves.

Make a Wish UAE Foundation CEO Hani Al Zubaidi was delighted with a large turnout, which meant bigger contributions to fulfil more wishes of children suffering from critical illness. 'Run for a Wish' is the foundation's first initiative in line with the theme '2020: Towards the next 50'.

"We expected lots of people to attend but, because of the rain, we were a bit concerned. We weren't sure if people would turn up or not. We are thrilled to see such a large number of people although it's chilly and windy," Al Zubaidi said.

"These people believe in the foundation's cause. This will also help achieve the financial returns necessary to grant the wishes that may be the last in the lives of sick children."

Proceeds from registration fees - for the 5k, 10k and kids' runs - will all go to making wishes come true.

"This year, we want to help grant more wishes. We are blessed with the support of community members, volunteers, and our Make a Wish family," Al Zubaidi added.

The event saw wholehearted participation from families and runners of all ages.

There were even some wheelchair users.

Make a Wish UAE was established under the patronage of Sheikha Sheikha bint Mohamed bin Saif Al Nahyan, wife of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Adviser to the UAE President.

'Amazing experience for my child'

Pfungwadzashe Chitambira - a Make a Wish family member - had her ailing daughter's wish fulfilled, and in return wanted to play a role in the cause. "It's rainy and cold, but we will always be there for the foundation's event. They granted the wish of my ill daughter to go on a big shopping spree. It was an amazing experience for her and us as parents," said Chitambira.

The foundation's project manager, Noha El Shorbagy, said the event helped spread its noble message and promote a culture of volunteerism.

"We try to understand the needs of children and fulfil them. We recently presented young Yousif with a laptop as he wanted one to watch his favourite YouTuber. We even got the YouTuber to present it to him. We want to create an experience which stays with the child and brings a smile on their face," El Shorbagy said.

And El Shorbagy was a favourite among the children of Make a Wish family.

"She is my best friend in the whole world. She made my wish come true," said Shammah Chabata, Year 1 student, who is now recovering from her illness.


ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20200111/ARTICLE/200119934&Show=0 macro_action: article, macro_profile: , macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios