The beautiful autumn sunshine held out on Saturday 29September when 600 runners met at the ponds in Kockelscheuer to raise money and awareness for the Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner (helping children with cancer foundation) in Luxembourg.
Photo: LaLa La Photo
The NGO has been supporting children and their families fighting cancer for almost 28 years in Luxembourg and this was its first edition of the charity run Lëtz Go Gold.
“Each participant commits to raising a minimum of €200 through sponsorship,” said Veerle Dierick, the project co-coordinator for fundraising at the foundation. The amount is €100 for minors and those under 25. “As this is the first edition of the Lëtz Go Gold event, we were hoping to raise maybe €100,000, but we have been overwhelmed by the response and eagerness of people to join in.”
The Lëtz Go Gold charity run, organised by Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner, in Kockelscheuer, 29 September 2018. Image: LaLa La Photo
Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner supports children fighting cancer and life threatening diseases and their families through a variety of different ways. “As treatment is often not available in Luxembourg, we assist children and their families throughout the ‘grand region’ to travel abroad,” explained Veerle. “The criteria being that at least one parent works in Luxembourg to be eligible.”
The organisation has helped more than 200 families in the Greater Region with treatment and support. “We assist with everything from the administration, to finding a suitable hospital to treat the child, as well as accommodation for the parents whilst the child is in hospital,” added Veerle. “We have parents housing located near the specialist oncology unit in Brussels as well as an ‘appartement de convalescence’ on the Belgian coast.”
Whilst much of the treatment is paid for by the National Health Fund (CNS), the foundation provides the added financial assistance and expertise to help families through what can be a devastating and costly time. “Each year we have approximately 30 new cases diagnosed,” stated Veerle. “It is important to provide guidance and support as soon as possible.”
The cost of holding the event was met by the charities sponsors, this year, so the money raised by each runner goes directly into two Luxembourg based research projects: one on brain tumor research and the other specialised on the effects of pesticides on childhood cancer.
A runner near the finishing line of the Lëtz Go Gold charity race, organised by Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner, a group that aids children with cancer and their families, 29 September 2018. Image: LaLa La Photo
“Our son was diagnosed with leukemia at a very early age,” explained Laurent Jonette from Belgium. “He has been in remission now for 3 years and we are here to support the charity as they have done so much for us.”
Participants had the choice of taking part in a 1.5km, 5km or 10km charity run/walk depending on their capabilities.
“We are walking 5km today to raise money and support for our neighbor, who has cancer,” said Aly from Luxembourg. “It is a really important project.”
Throughout the run, there was plenty of entertainment to keep participants motivated such as music from bands and a performance from the Majorettes de l’Alzette.
Volunteers from the International School of Luxembourg were also on hand to provide drinks and freshly cut fruits, whilst another four volunteers applied the gold ribbon tattoos to runners and supporters creating an extra team spirit.
The Lëtz Go Gold charity run, 29 September 2018. Image: LaLa La Photo
In total the 600 runners had raised, at the time of publication, €265,910 for the research projects.
“It has been such a success we are just finalising the details for next year’s run,” Veerle said. It will be held on 28 September 2019.