Canadian Tamil Congress hosted Tamil Canadian Walk 2018 at Thomson Memorial Park in Scarborough, Ontario. $58,000 was raised for recipient Northern Province Palliative Care Initiative, the walk was a joint venture between Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration (Canada), Cancer Aid North and East (UK) and the International Medical Health Organization (Canada). Money raised will be used to develop a community mobile unit in Jaffna district that will serve palliative cancer and non-cancer patients in their homes.
Palliative Care is the care of patients whose diseases are not curable, and whose conditions will worsen over time. Family and social structures in Northern Province, Sri Lanka, were destroyed as a result of war. This combined with the migration of younger generations has left the community’s most vulnerable, poor, sick, and elderly citizens in a precarious situation. The Northern Province Palliative Care Initiative aims to improve their situation, easing pain and suffering and improving quality of lifefor many patients and families.
Though the weather was chilly, hundreds of Canadians from diverse backgrounds and age groups turned out to support this event. Dr. Mahadevan Varagunan, President of IMHO Canada, and Abissheka Loydson emceed the event. Speakers addressing the gathering includedvisiting Mayor Emmanuel Arnold of Jaffna, Dr. Lawrence Loh Associate Officer of Public Health Peel Region, and Dr. Megan Doherty, a pediatric palliative care physician from Ottawa and representative from Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration.
Receiving special recognition awards were community partner organizations Tamil Medical Pharmaceutical Organization (TMPA)and the Senior Tamils’ Centre of Ontario (STC).Tamil Seniors from STC collectively raised $12,800, the largest team donation of Tamil Canadian Walk 2018! A cheque for $5,000 was presented by Mr. Thushy of PrintFast, represented the largest individual donation of the Walk.
Also recognized were Official Sponsors, WestJet, Lucvaa Kitchens, DOTO Studio and Raj Thavaratnasingham of Edward Jones. Because of their very generous support, 100% of funds collected were directed to the Northern Province Palliative Care Initiative – Thank you!
This year, a new concept was introduced at the Tamil Canadian Walk called the Amazing Race. During Amazing Race, nine teams of 5 members each competed against one another to complete a number of mental and physical challenges before crossing the finish line. Much enjoyment was had by all the teams competing in this event!
After announcing that the target $50,000 was achieved, attendees of the walk were treated to a dance and musical show, featuring talented young performers from the Tamil Canadian community.
“Any one of us could end up in this situation. Palliative care is for all of us. We must support this.” This sentiment was echoed again and again by the many walkers participating in the 5km walk for Palliative Care in Northern Province.
Since 2009, Tamil Canadian Walk has raised over $500,000 for deserving charities in Canada and around the world – Sick Kids Foundation (2009), Canadian Cancer Society (2010), Amnesty International (2011), Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (2012), Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (2013), Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation (2014), Sampur Resettlement (2015), Canada Batticaloa Friendship Farm (2016) and Thennamarawady Resettlement (2017).