Saturday, June 01, 2013

Press Release: Do Your Part to Help Beat Cancer! Join the Be Frank Campaign

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 May 2013 – Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) today launched the “Be Frank” campaign at Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC). The Be Frank” campaign is all about how important it is to challenge and push the boundaries in fighting cancer by educating the public about this devastating disease and the importance of early detection, dispelling the myths of cancer, and ultimately inspire others to help people live longer, healthier lives.

Inspired by Malaysian cancer survivor Frank Chong’s courageous story of beating the odds and doing the seemingly impossible by committing himself to run the world’s most challenging ultra-marathon, the Comrades Marathon for the second time, the “Be Frank” campaign captures his passion to supporting cancer research.

(From left to right): “Be Frank” campaign supporters Ruby Song, Regina Tan, Frank Chong and Dennis Tang together with Prof. Dr Teo Soo-Hwang, Chief Executive Officer of CARIF.

Let’s Be Frank and fund raise for cancer research
Frank strongly believes that cancer is not a death sentence and continues to deliver the message that hope is certainly out there. This year, he will lace up his running shoes for cancer research at the Comrades Marathon on June 2 and dedicate the “Up Hill” run of this ultra-marathon to CARIF.

Just like Frank, CARIF invites you to be bold, to be brave and to be a messenger of hope by supporting the fight against cancer by holding your own fundraisers. The unique thing about these fundraisers is that it can be as creative, as simple or as elaborate as you would like and it can also be an avenue for you to use your passions and interests. Some examples of fundraisers that you can hold would be a cupcake or bake sale, a car wash, a garage sale, a fashion show, a dance-a-thon or a charity dinner.

“The “Be Frank” campaign is a cause that is very close to my heart as my family and friends have had cancer and I have seen the devastating impact it has on their lives. Because of this, I have chosen to join Frank in the fight against cancer and pledge to be a ray of hope for cancer victims by holding a yogathon to raise funds for CARIF,” said Joey Liang, a local yoga instructor.

“I would like to encourage Malaysians to show their support for cancer research by holding their own fundraisers for this campaign. All proceeds from this campaign will be used for CARIF’s research programmes to improve cancer screening, to find new cures, to engage the public and patients in cancer awareness programmes and to advocate cancer-related issues,” said Prof. Dr Teo Soo-Hwang, Chief Executive Officer of CARIF. “Alternatively, if you can’t hold your own fundraiser, you can still contribute to this cause by purchasing the official “Be Frank” T-shirts at Running Lab, Tropicana City Mall or by donating directly to CARIF.”

Let’s Be Frank about cancer myths
Today’s launch of the “Be Frank” campaign also included an exhibition of posters to dispel the myths and misconceptions on cancer such as the myths about how cancer develops, myths about coping with cancer and myths about cancer treatments.

This informative exhibition created awareness among the public regarding the facts about this disease and encouraged them join cancer patients and survivors to champion the cause to speak out about cancer.

“It is important for everyone affected by cancer to be able to get clear and accurate information. That’s why I have chosen to be involved in debunking some common cancer myths – for example, people believe there is no life after cancer but I am prove that there is. After my treatment, I got married, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and I am going for my first full marathon next month!” said cancer survivor Aida Munirah from SDMC’s patient support group.

(From left to right): “Be Frank” campaign supporters Dennis Tang, Ruby Song and Frank Chong with CARIF Board of Trustees - YAM Tengku Datuk Seri Ahmad Shah Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Al-Haj and YABhg Toh Puan Dato’ Seri Hajah Dr. Aishah Ong; and Prof. Dr Teo Soo-Hwang, Chief Executive Officer of CARIF.

Let’s Be Frank and support early detection and screening
It is currently estimated that more than 10,000 people die from cancer every year in Malaysia and 1 in 4 Malaysians will develop cancer in their lifetime. Up to 90% of Stage 1 and 2 patients in the country may survive at least five years, and many go on to survive more than 20 years, provided they receive the proper treatment.

To avoid being part of this statistic, it is important for us to practice early detection of cancer as it greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. Cancer screening is also an important step for early detection of cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for curing the disease are greatest.

“Cancer is a disease that affects thousands of families across Malaysia every day. CARIF along with our partners, M&C Saatchi, Simply Giving, and SDMC’s Centre of Excellence for Cancer, believe in providing a light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering with cancer. With the “Be Frank” campaign, we hope to challenge and push the boundaries in fighting this devastating disease by educating the public about cancer and early detection, dispelling the myths of cancer, and ultimately inspire others to help people live longer, healthier lives,” added Prof. Dr Teo Soo-Hwang.

Prof. Dr Teo’s message was strongly supported by cancer survivors from SDMC’s patient support groups who were there as the campaign’s first few “Be Frank” champions for early detection. These brave individuals had their messages put into a video which will be available on the “Be Frank” website.

To find out more about the “Be Frank” campaign and how you can support CARIF, please email us at or visit

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