Bimbo Oloyede, broadcaster and co-ordinator of Lifeline Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has launched a N100 million fundraising initiative for cancer treatment.

While speaking in Lagos on Thursday, Oloyede said the initiative is set up to support cancer research and treatment in public hospitals, to mark her 70th birthday.

The veteran broadcaster said she was inspired to champion the initiative after losing some of her family members to cancer.

She noted that the fundraising event will take place on March 15 at the Glover Memorial Hall, in Lagos.

Oloyede added that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is expected as the father of the day at the event while Emeka Anyaoku, former secretary general of the Commonwealth and his wife and other dignitaries would also be in attendance.

Oloyede said a fundraising committee chaired by Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, chief executive officer (CEO) of WFM 91.7 has already been put in place.

“I felt that I should tell you myself about my plans for my 70th birthday. I feel so grateful to God for enabling me to stand before you in this manner,” she said.

“I feel thankful that my profession and the nature of my job pushed me to keep showing up, despite the personal difficulties I had with various members of my family.

“I owe my reason to my God, my profession, my family and my friends because the combination of the four kept me going.

“These are the thoughts that brought me back to this constituency (that is you) and my resolve to mark my birthday in a different way. I have spent almost 50 years performing in public and it has been a blessing. It is that same public that I come to now, asking for their help.

“Some members of my family have struggled with an ailment known as cancer; sometimes winning and sometimes losing, but, thankfully, in those trying times, when we reached out to friends, we received the help we needed to cope with the situations, one by one.

“However, as I speak, there are people who have cancer but have neither access to treatment nor any hope of sustainable care.

“I have spoken to relevant stakeholders, oncologists and health practitioners and new cases are being diagnosed at an alarming rate every clinic day in all the public hospitals. I am therefore convinced that I must do something significant to make life more comfortable for cancer patients.

“Although my birthday occurs during the Lenten season as well as the month of Ramadan, after due consideration, my family and I have decided to commemorate this milestone by raising N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) for cancer research and the treatment of cancer patients in public hospitals… but I know that this cannot be done alone.”

She listed some members of the board of trustees as Christopher Kolade, elder statesman; Busola Talabi, executive director of legal, Globacom Ltd; Sola Momoh vice-chairman Channels media group; Raymond Kuti, chief executive officer (CEO) of Prisms Healthcare Ltd; Kingsley James, CEO, IDCL Nigeria and Bimbo Oloyede, co-ordinator Lifeline Initiative.

Oloyede noted that the trustees will ensure accountability of funds raised while calling on good-spirited individuals to support the vision of touching the lives of people living with cancer through their donations.

“The funds will be paid into an organisation, duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2017. It is: Lifeline Advocacy and Development Initiative-Fidelity Bank, Account No-5601206418,” she noted.