Artiwara Kongmalai (a.k.a. Toon Bodyslam) is set to head out on November 1st, 2017, for a two-month long campaign where he will run the equivalent of a marathon every day. Toon, as Thai people affectionately call him, will run the entire length of Thailand (1,369 mi), to raise funds to be donated to eleven regional hospitals across the country.
Toon is the lead singer of a Thai rock band, Bodyslam. He is the de facto biggest rock star in Thailand and one question people most frequently ask is; why doesn’t he organize a concert or two as the means to raise the money instead? His answer is simple; running, which is an act of putting one foot in front of another, is an action that most people are capable of. He wants to lead by example and shift people’s mindset to believe that anyone can make a difference.
In December of last year Toon organized and accomplished a smaller-scale campaign by running 250 miles over 10 days from Bangkok down to Bang Saphan Hospital. He successfully fulfilled his mission and raised $2.55 million; all of the money raised was donated to Bang Saphan regional hospital and used for the purchasing of necessary medical equipment and improving their severe overcrowding situation.
Toon’s new goal is his most ambitious yet. On November 1st, Toon will run from the most southern point of Thailand (Betong, Yala) to the most Northern point (Mae Sai, Chiang Rai) over 55 days. He will embark on this journey with the aim to cross the finish line on Christmas Day. His reasoning is that if every person in Thailand, a country of 70 million people, would donate only 10 Baht (US $0.30) to this campaign, that would equate to 700 million Baht and would certainly improve the financial situation of these regional government-run hospitals and more Thai lives would be saved. The funds that are raised are to be divided equally amongst the 11 hospitals. Please support his cause by donating any amount you can.
Can this campaign cure the root issue of poor access to healthcare for people in poverty in Thailand? The simple answer is ‘not right away’. The problem is a massive one and it cannot be solved overnight. However, if everyone pitches in to help, no matter how big or small, all of us will surely have a better tomorrow.
This GoFundMe campaign is affiliated with the official “KaoKonLaKao” campaign in Thailand. I was Toon’s classmate at Suankularb Wittayalai and Chulalongkorn University. I live in California and I want to do my part by donating my own money and by spreading the word of this noble campaign. If you are in Thailand or have direct access to the Thai financial system, there are ways to donate to his cause directly listed on the campaign web site www.kaokonlakao.com. Funds raised from this campaign will be periodically transferred to the official campaign account in Thailand and the transaction records will be posted here.
Learn more about the band Bodyslam here:
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