Lara goes ~~Naizi~~ way, launches oncology centre in T

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain:Following the footsteps of Pakistan's World Cup winning captain Imran Khan, batting great and West Indies skipper Brian Lara lent his name and provided financial help to an eponymous cancer treatment centre here today.

Like Imran, popularly known as 'Naizi', who runs the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital&Research Centre in Lahore, Lara also lost his mother Pearl to the dreaded disease.

Lara said he had mixed emotions on the occasion of launching the centre.

''What a bittersweet moment for me. As Trinidad and Tobago is about to inherit the first state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre it also brings back to me memories of my loving parents,'' he was quoted as saying by a CMC report.

''My dad passed away in 1989 of a heart attack, another concern for all in the medical field, and also my mom who passed away in 2002, and that is definitely something that has an alliance to this because she died of cancer,'' said one of the all-time batting greats cricket has ever seen.

''I finally felt that it was time that her suffering had stopped and that she had now gone to better things,'' Lara said of his mother who battled cancer for 10 years.

Lara said he received the invitation to lend his name to the centre was that it would cater to all, including the needy who can't afford the treatment.

''I wish it was around 10 to 15 years ago. But today onwards, we can boast of having a state-of-the-art cancer centre that is going to be for the very rich to the very poor and that is definitely something that I want to put my name to. It is a great honour,'' he said.

''For any man, his name is a major part of his legacy...Today, I say the cancer centre is definitely going to leave a legacy for myself and I place my name and my commitment on my field of play in your hands to ensure that the longevity through the test of time, is going to be most successful cancer treatment centre in the region,'' he added.

The Woodbrook-based centre would take in its first patient in March, the report said.

Lara, on behalf of the Pearl and Bunty Lara Foundation, presented a cheque to Bacchus on behalf of the centre, and urged the corporate world to support the centre.


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