On Friday morning December 5th, 2014, one of the most important charitable events in the Arab world, the Zayed Marathon, kicked off for the first time in Cairo in favor of Hospital 57357 at the Air Defense Stadium, concomitantly with The Emirates’ celebration of its 43rd National Day.
Under the patronage of the supportive state of the Emirates, and organized by the ministry for Youth and Sports, the event was attended by Emirati State minister, Sultan El Gaber, Eng. Khaled Abdel Aziz, Minister for Youth & Sports, Dr. Ghada Wali, Minister for social solidarity, Dr.Galal El Said, Cairo Governor, and Dr. Adel El Adawy, Health Minister.
Two tracks were set up for the competition; a 10km long one and the other half that distance enabling four categories of contestants to participate: professional men and women, simple men and women, youth under 18 years of age and people with special needs. Around 12000 contestants took part in the Marathon. Also attending the event were Mrs. Amal El Mossaferi, head of Emirati center for strategic studies and research, Lt. general Mohamed Helal Al Kaaby, head of the Marathon’s organizing committee, Mohamed Omran, Head of the Egyptian Stock Exchange, top 57357 management and board members, and a number of 57357’s children
The decision to choose Egypt as the first Arab country to host the Marathon reflects the strong ties between the two nations and sends out the message that Egypt is a safe country and the heart of the Arab World. Moreover the Zayed Marathon in Cairo is the perfect channel through which the Emirates can support the noble mission of Hospital 57357 of providing free quality care and cure to all children with cancer.
Traditionally, this marathon, which gained large popularity, is being held for the past 10 years in New York in favor of kidney patients. Only this year, a second edition was organized in Abu Dhabi and a third edition in Cairo for the benefit of the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt. On the sidelines of the Marathon, a delegation of top Emirati statesmen and women came to the Hospital a day before to remit the generous proceeds of the event they were able to collect . These will be directed to support the proton therapy building which is a major component of 57357′s future expansion. Proton therapy is a radiotherapy treatment with protons which has the advantage over the traditional one to produce minimal side effects and to have a higher degree of tumor ablation. Proton therapy will be available for adult patients, generating revenue for the hospital
A part from its humanitarian, wellness-oriented and touristic objectives, the Zayed Marathon is a means of reaching out to other populations through the support of humanitarian work.. It is one part of a chain of charitable initiatives by the late founder of the Emirates Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan Al Nahian carried on after him by the State President Sheikh Khalifa Ben Zayed. The decision to choose Egypt as the first Arab country to host the Marathon reflects the strong ties between the two nations.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Late Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan Al Nahian and his family’s charitable foundation were strong supporters of Hospital 57357 ever since its inception. Thanks to their generosity, the Hospital was able to acquire the most advanced diagnostic scan, the PET/CT scan and the second cyclotron equipment in Egypt which produces the radioactive material necessary to perform this advanced type of imagery.