Sharjah man walks nearly 87km in 24 hrs to pay tribute to friend who died of brain tumour

More than 2,000 people participated in the third edition of the ‘Relay for Life’ cancer fundraiser

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 5:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 5:42 PM

A Sharjah resident walked 24 hours covering nearly 87 kilometres during the ‘Relay for Life’ fundraiser for cancer awareness held on Saturday at the Kshisha Park in Sharjah.

Nihad Naseeruddin, an athlete, and sports enthusiast, stood first, completing the 24-hour walk after taking over 153,000 steps. “It was very difficult, but I was prepared for it. Halfway through my walk, I felt extreme pain in my legs, but I kept going,” said Naseeruddin who dedicated the walk to his high school friend who passed away last year due to brain tumour.

He said that he was extremely happy with the honour. “I feel proud to receive this honour in front of my parents. I have already received many calls of appreciation from the owners and staff at my company."

Hailing from Thrissur in Kerala, Naseeruddin works at Crescent Petroleum in the supply chain department. "I have made a mental note of the things I need to improve in terms of fitness, and I have already set my eyes on breaking this record during the 2023 ‘Relay for Life’," he said.

More than 2,000 people, including 700 cancer survivors and volunteers, participated in the third edition of the RFL, a 24-hour multidisciplinary relay, and the largest peer-to-peer cancer fundraising event in the world.

Naseeruddin has been participating in various fundraising and charitable events for a long time, including the Pink Challenge and summer challenge, and is also an active participant at many fitness and sporting clubs and events in the UAE.

“It was interesting that the donations are calculated based on the steps taken. As an added bonus, the winners also got a medal and a certificate,” said Naseeruddin who has taken part in 14 challenges by Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP).

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The 28-year-old socially conscious worker has been volunteering for various events since high school. “I developed a love for volunteering during my high school days and never missed volunteering whenever I got an opportunity. I came to know about FOCP and Relay For Life in 2017 when I got to take part in the events, as my father works for Crescent Petroleum who are the main sponsor of the event,” said Naseeruddin.

In 2019, Naseeruddin bagged the first prize in the RFL. “I could walk 105,000 steps in 24 hours then, and in 2021, when it was a virtual challenge for a month, I came fourth.

“My effort is a message to all the cancer survivors, patients, and their families to never give up, and stay strong.”


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