Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 10 October 2011 - LPGA stars Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Jennifer Song and Jean Chua visited the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya this afternoon to officially launch the new Breast Care Centre.
The five golfers, all confirmed to play at this year's Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia later this week, were joined by Sime Darby Berhad Chairman Tun Musa Hitam and the Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya Board to open the Centre and learn more about the continued efforts of the tournament's charity, Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF).
The special visit to the Sime Darby Medical Centre saw the players and VIPs learn more about the tournament charity as well as the importance of breast care and screening via an introduction to the new Breast Care Centre presented by Elaine Cheong, Chief Executive Officer, Sime Darby Healthcare-Medical.
Professor Dr Teo Soo Hwang, Chief Executive, CARIF, also spoke of how the contributions from last year's inaugural Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia were used by the charity and thanked the tournament sponsors for their continuous help in enabling the research to continue.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Malaysia and sadly, although survival rate for breast cancer is already more than 80% in the USA, survival rate in some communities in Malaysia is only 50%. Funds raised through this year's Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia event will be used for collaborative research between CARIF and University Malaya to improve the outcome for breast cancer patients in Malaysia and to reduce disparities in cancer treatment and care.
Speaking at the opening of the Breast Care Centre at the Sime Darby Medical Centre, Tun Musa Hitam, spoke on the importance of cancer research and praised CARIF for its work thus far,
"Sime Darby is proud to continue as one of the prime donors of CARIF since its research laboratory started in 2000 and over the past eleven years we are delighted to help aid the research that creates hope for cancer patients. We are privileged to have opened the Breast Care Centre here today and are pleased to demonstrate Sime Darby LPGA's fund-raising for cancer research again this year."
Last year's inaugural Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia raised a total of around RM500,000 via the tournament's ticket sales and the annual prestigious Gala Dinner. The 2010 tournament donations were used to develop the CARIF Patient Navigation Program, a decision aid to be an educational tool to essentially support patients. The Program assists patients and their families with important decisions regarding their care, including surgery procedures and where to have such medical treatment. Ultimately the goal is to improve the quality of life and survival chances of those suffering from breast cancer in Malaysia.
This year four of the visiting players have been commended for joining in the global fight against breast cancer, as Kerr, Creamer, Gulbis and Song have announced they are to donate a portion of their Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011 tournament earnings to furthering the cause. The generous contribution from the Tour players, will be a warm welcome to the tournament charity, which will be running a study called More than A Mammo Programme together with Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya's Breast Care Centre. The Centre will open its doors to the public on 11 October 2011.
The visit also saw the players, Tun Musa Hitam and Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya's Board Chairman, Tengku Datuk Seri Ahmad Shah Al-Haj participate in a putting game which kicked off the 2011 tournament contributions. The five players, alongside the Sime Darby Berhad Chairman and Tengku Datuk Seri Ahmad Shah, took part in the aptly named 'Pink Swing', which was followed by a mock cheque contribution of RM90,000 from Sime Darby Healthcare to the More Than A Mammo Programme.
On her thoughts about the visit, World No. 8 on the Rolex Rankings (as of 03 October 2011), Paula Creamer said,
"It has truly been wonderful visiting the Sime Darby Medical Centre today, learning more about CARIF and what it does to contribute to breast cancer research and to improve survival for breast cancer patients in Malaysia. We have started the sponsorship process here today via the 'Pink Swing' and I pledge to continue to do my part to spread the message, especially this week during the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia."
Led by the Sime Darby Breast Care Centre staff, the players and VIPs also gained knowledge about breast care, screening and its fast track services during a tour of the Centre, also taking the time to view the results of last year's donations.
Cristie Kerr, who currently stands at World No.3 (as at 03 October 2011), and who is already actively involved in fundraising for breast cancer research led the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Centre this afternoon. Kerr, who turns 34 years old on Wednesday, founded "Birdies for Breast Cancer" in the US in 2003, a foundation which raises money through donations and an annual charity event. Kerr and Gulbis joined Michelle Wie in last year's inaugural visit to the tournament charity's main site.
Fellow American, Gulbis said, "Last year's visit was a real eye-opener for me and I would like to thank everyone involved in allowing me to be part of this year's opening of the new Breast Care Centre by the hospital. The CARIF staff here have demonstrated where our donations go, and to see all the work that has been done in the past twelve months is incredible. Unfortunately everybody has been touched by cancer at some point in their lives so are aware of the importance of the continued research in order to find a cure, or at least in allowing these patients more support during their experience. We will definitely look to do our bit to raise funds and grow support for CARIF this week at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia."
During the Sime Darby LGPA Malaysia 2011, which will tee off this Thursday at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC), spectators and members of the public will be able to do their part to contribute to CARIF with proceeds from both the ticket sales throughout the four days and the Gala Dinner on Friday evening being donated to the charity.
For more information on the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011, please visit the event website - http://simedarbylpgamalaysia.com/
Photos by AREPKULAL/IMG