The Bahamas Trike-a-thon continues to play its part in assisting doctors and scientists at the renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as 400 children and their parents convened at the Sports Authority Parking Lot on Friday to raise money for research, and the treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.
The young participants, who attend The Meridian School, Tambearly School and Lyford Cay International School, participated in the annual St. Jude trike-a-thon tradition, which consists of a week-long curriculum covering riding-toy safety for day care centers and pre-schools across the world.
The proceeds from this year’s registration fee will go towards 12-year-old Tyiece Bennett, who is suffering from Spina bifida.
Joining a list of more than 7,000 trike-a-thon events in aid of St. Jude Hospital – located in Memphis, Tennessee – the Bahamas Trike-a-thon was first held in Nassau in 2011, by which seven Bahamian children had already been treated at the US hospital and research facility. Since then, the Sandals Foundation-sponsored trike-a-thon has raised more than US$30,000, was recognized as number two in the Top 100 St. Jude Trike-a-Thon Events for 2011-2012 and its organizer, Stanja Seivright, was awarded Coordinator of the Year, in 2012.
“The trike-a-thon is a way for our children and community to help the doctors and researchers undertake their life-saving work to benefit the children all over the world and in the Bahamas. My work for them has only just begun,” Seivright said. “Before St. Jude opened its doors, when parents were told, ‘your child has cancer’ or any other catastrophic disease, it was a death sentence.”
The St. Jude hospital, which opened in 1962 to a survival rate of four per cent, now records a survival rate of 94 per cent among children with the most common form of childhood cancer-acute Lymphobastic Leukemia (ALL). The treatment facility – a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders, and infectious diseases in children – openly shares its findings with hospitals and healthcare institutions across the world as an attempt to end deadly diseases that affect children.
“This is the third year that the Sandals Foundation has sponsored the Bahamas Trike-a-thon as it covers two very important pillars that we’re dedicated to: education and community,” said Heidi Clarke, Sandals Foundation’s director of programs. “This event brings the community together in a great show of support for fundraising towards a worthy cause, and it teaches the children important life lessons such as safety first, and supporting a cause that will benefit others.”
The event was facilitated by Timothy Munnings, director of sports – who assisted with securing the venue – and sponsored by Bahamas Waste Limited, Starbucks Cable Cottage and MORE 94 FM.