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"I've realised that completing a race is meaningless if I am doing it only for myself." - Salam Ismail.

Salam dedicated his attempt at the NorthFace 100 in memory of his fiancé (Saidah, formerly Customer Service Officer at Fitness First Platinum, OUB Centre) and to raise awareness for Lupus.

For Salam, fitness and running races have been part of most of his life, having been a personal trainer for 6 years and having run many races, triathlons, marathons.  This year, the NorthFace 100 had a very special meaning for him as he is dedicating his run to his fiancé who succumbed to a long battle with lupus earlier this year.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system develops antibodies that attack healthy tissues (auto) instead of fighting against bacteria and viruses. The immune system attacks the body's organs, failing to recognize the tissues as its own. Any organ can be affect including the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, brain, gut, blood system and blood vessels. Patients may be severe enough to require kidney dialysis and some die if the illness is not well controlled.

Not many people know about this disease and Salam’s attempt at the NorthFace 100 was to help raise awareness for lupus and get more people interested in assisting the Lupus Association of Singapore with funding for their programs which include raising awareness of the illness, acting on patients’ behalf eg. in getting lupus recognized by insurance companies, increasing physician knowledge about lupus, patient care and also promoting research about the illness and treatment.

Lupus affects an estimated 4,000 patients in Singapore, about the same number as leukemia.

The cause of lupus is still unknown and treatments can be very expensive.  Despite intensive research, there is no cure for lupus but there is medication that patients can take throughout their lives to help treat symptoms and suppress an "over-active" immune system to prevent it from attacking the vital organs in the body.

If you would like to support Salam's cause, please send your donation via cross Cheque payable to "LUPUS ASSOCIATION (SINGAPORE)" and mail it to:  Balestier Estate P.O. Box 460, Singapore 913202.   Please indicate "for Salam’s NorthFace 100" behind the Cheque.

Send Salam notes of encouragement and track his progress on Facebook at Fitness First’s fan page by searching for "Fitness First Singapore Community Group" on Facebook.

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