The ‘Chiong Ah! Charity Race 2022’ saw participants race around Singapore to raise money for the NNI Fund.

When Janet Leaw took part in the National Neuroscience Institute’s (NNI) ‘Chiong Ah! Charity Race 2022’ with her colleagues, it was part of her workplace’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. A General Manager at Scan-Bilt, she was part of one of the 19 teams from the construction and civil engineering company that spent after-office hours and weekends travelling to places like the Sembawang Hot Spring Park and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

“As an organisation, we saw the importance of giving back to society and took this opportunity to not only race around Singapore for a good cause, but to bond as colleagues outside the office,” Janet shared.

The inaugural ‘Chiong Ah! Charity Race 2022’ saw more than 260 participants race around Singapore to raise funds for the NNI Fund. From 1 March to 30 April 2022, pairs had to complete 10 stations around the island in the fastest possible time.

Through the event, $115,000 was raised for the NNI Fund, which aims to transform the lives of persons with neurological conditions affecting the brain, spine, nerve and muscle like stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and brain tumour by improving patient care, advancing neuroscience research, nurturing the next generation of neuroscience leaders and other unmet needs.

Janet spent a couple of weekends completing the race with her colleagues and family members. “I remembered that one of the stations we had was the Botanical Gardens, where we find out how many trees of a certain species was in the garden. By the end of the task, we were so tired we just lay on a field and were too tired to move to the next location,” she recounted. “It had been a while since I had such an exciting and tiring outing, but it was a memorable one.”

Signing up for this race was also hit close to home for Janet. “My dad who is now 76 years old, first starting having seizures about a decade ago. There was no apparent cause that started these sudden attacks.” Now a patient at NNI, his seizures are well under controlled, and Janet is thankful for that.

“It is very heart-breaking not be able to be recognised by your loved ones and having to witness how your loved ones suffering from neurological conditions. I am glad that through the fun I had in this race, I am able to help other families through the NNI fund.”