These students face a long road in their drive for cancer charityParents with children suffering from leukemia not only face the formidable task of paying expensive medical bills; they also find it next to impossible to find bone marrow transplants.
To aid these people, Wingshang, a group made up mostly of college students from all over Korea, will hold its fifth annual charity drive titled,“Giving New Life: The Great March Across the Nation.”
The group’s name, Wingshang, means “to give wings to.” Its nationwide events have tried to do just that for leukemia patients every year since its inception in 1999. This year, the group has decided to help an 18-month-old baby named Shin Jae-young, who is suffering from rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely malignant form of tumorous cancer.
Donations for Jae-young are expected to reach 10 million won ($8,500), which will be used toward operations and treatment. Other funds will go to two other children suffering from leukemia.
Participants will first scour the countryside collecting donations from individuals and groups. Along the way, the participants hope to raise awareness about cancer patients and the cost of treatment.
Then comes the real deal. From July 13 to Aug. 3, about 150 young people, mostly college students, will participate in a 680-kilometer (422-mile) trek from Busan to Mokpo, via Jeju Island.
“Every year, we decide on different areas of the country to cover our long march because it is pretty difficult to cover all of Korea in three weeks,” says Lim Sam-mi, a Wingshang spokeswoman. In the past, marchers have covered the distance from Daejeon to Busan, Jeonju to Seoul and Imjingak to Haenam.
“We are in dire need of sponsors who will help out with donations in kind. Right now, we are lacking in commodities for our journey, as well as contributions to the children’s funds,” says Ms. Lim.
The group seeks individual as well as corporate donors to aid in the charity march.
To give donations, send funds to the National Post Office bank at account number 312678-01-001019. For more information, call (042) 527-5654 or visit http://wingshang.new21.org.
by Choi Jie-ho
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