Trail was brought to life through the fusion of two dreams – Sarinda Unamboowe’s pledge to walk the length of Sri Lanka if the ongoing civil war were to cease and Nathan Sivagananathan’s vision to drive the nations fight against cancer. In July 2011, they began their 28 day journey along the length of Sri Lanka while raising funds for a much needed cancer hospital in the North.
During the walk, the overwhelming generosity of the public was one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of the journey. LKR 10 million was raised solely through till donations as thousands walked from the South of Sri Lanka to the North. People were excitedly tossing money out of passing buses while small children were bringing back tills filled to the brim. Many people resonated with our cause so deeply, they put the needs of those suffering with cancer above their own adversity. This type of benevolence was incredibly uplifting and we walked feeling grateful and inspired.
Over the course of 27 days, we were joined by over 30,000 people who wanted to be a part of the important message that Trail stood for; 30,000 people who walked hundreds of kilometers in the sun for hours on end so that they could be a part of this historic feat. As a result, we were able to raise USD 2.6 million and build a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Jaffna housing 120 beds across 3 wards, including a pediatric ward. The site also provides chemotherapy and iodine treatment facilities and has treated over 4,500 patients to date from Northern and North-Eastern regions of Sri Lanka.
This October we are walking back from Northern Point Pedro to Southern Dondra Head with the aim of raising USD 5 million. All the funds raised will go towards the construction of a cancer treatment facility at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle. In 2015, the hospital recorded its highest number of cancer related deaths and national incidence is on the rise. Recently, the hospital has also seen a dramatic influx of patients who travel from surrounding provinces to seek treatment. It is in dire need of an expansion as it is currently unable to meet the requirements of these patients.
This October we Trail in aid of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital as we collectively drive Sri Lanka’s fight against cancer. We Trail to promote the message that cancer is not the story, the individuals fighting this disease are and we stand by them as we #TrailasOne.