07 Feb 2014 13:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, raised almost half a million dirhams in support of the Children’s Cancer Hospital Foundation 57357 in Egypt through the charity marathon held last week as part of its “Colour Their Lives” campaign. 

The 57357 Hospital, located in Cairo, is one of the biggest hospitals specialising in children’s cancer in the world and was solely built on donations. Funds raised will help the hospital build a new ward housing 300 beds and a new playground for the children.

Donations where collected through the sale of “Colour Their Lives” t-shirts at the marathon which was held at the Abu Dhabi Corniche and saw participation in four categories: adults, children, mother and child and children with special needs.

The winners were: Tawfik Alem and Latifa Sarook in the male and female adults categories; Abdallah Harazi and Mai Hisham  in the children’s catgory; Yasmin Al Hamooli in the mother and child category; and Hassan Tarek in the children with special needs race.

Winners of the adult category won two airline tickets to any destination in the Etihad Airways network. All other winners received exciting prizes including tickets to Yas Water World and Ferrari World, free access to Abu Dhabi public beach, as well as Ipads and other electronic devices.

His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan Bin Mohamed Al Nahyan attended the race and distributed the prizes to the winners along with His Excellency Abdulla Rashed Khalaf Al Otaiba,  Chairman of the Department of Transport, and His Excellency Major General Obaid Al Hairi Salem Ketbi, Deputy General Commander of Abu Dhabi Police.

Also attending the marathon were Her Excellency Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi, Head of Special Needs Sector at Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), Talal Khouri, Head of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, His Excellency Ihab Hamouda, Egyptian Ambassador to the UAE, and Ehab Tawfeeq, the famous Egyptian singer.  

Khaled Al Mehairbi, Etihad Airways’ Chairman of the Sports and Social Committee and Senior Vice President of Government and AeroPolitical Affairs, said: “As the UAE flag carrier, we are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to society and give back to those in need.  

“We hope we managed to make a difference in the lives of these young children by helping them on their journey to recovery, while at the same time raising awareness of treatment and prevention of this deadly disease.” 

Along with the marathon many other activities were organised including free health screenings and medical advice, live entertainment, face painting activities for children, a lucky draw with various exciting prizes, and an auction for the trip of a lifetime to five exciting Etihad Airways’ destinations including : Disneyland Paris, Maldives, Thailand and the Philippines. 

A giant wall dedicated to the UAE’s President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was one of the main attractions at the event, and saw visitors of all ages and nationalities join in wishing His Highness a speedy recovery and the best of health. 

“We are pleased to have been able to provide the citizens, residents and visitors of the UAE with the opportunity to show their love and respect for the leader of the nation and wish the President the best of health,” Mr. Al Mehairbi said. 

The marathon was held in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Abu Dhabi Airports, Ministry of Interior, Emirates Red Crescent, SEHA Emirates Hospital, Yas Water World and Canon. 

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