Press Release
September 1, 2006


Senator Pia S. Cayetano will lead hundreds of volunteers in the "4th 12-hour Run-Walk-Bike for a Cause in Memory of Gabriel" on Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City.

The event will raise funds for differently abled, sick and disadvantaged children. Started in 2002, it is held annually in memory of Gabriel Rene Cayetano, son of Sen. Cayetano and lawyer Butch Sebastian, who died five years ago of complications from a rare chromosomal disorder.

Gabriel was born with trisomy 13* (also called Patau Syndrome), a rare condition that occurs in up to 1 out of 5,000 newborns. Gabriel had a cleft lip and palate, a hole in his heart, enlarged kidneys and was perceived to be deaf and blind. He died at the age of nine months on September 19, 2001.

Volunteers will walk, run or bike around a course with sponsors making pledges for every round or kilometer competed by each participant.

The money to be raised from the event will be used by the Gabriel's Symphony Foundation, Inc. to sponsor cleft lip and palate operations and in supporting the rehabilitation and education of blind and deaf-mute children.

In the last four years, the Foundation has sponsored free cleft lip and palate operations for 313 children.

Among the institutions that have benefited from the annual event include the Parent Advocates for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC), which was able to avail of 12 artificial eyes last year, and the Ephpheta Foundation Inc., which received financial support for the rehabilitation of blind trainees.

This year's beneficiaries include PAVIC, the Joseph Gulandi School for the Hearing Impaired and the Philippine School for the Deaf. "This is our way of remembering Gabriel and celebrating how his short life brings new hope to the lives of other disadvantaged children," said Cayetano.

The "4th 12-hour Run-Walk-Bike for a Cause in Memory of Gabriel" will run from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. The starting point and finish line will be set up at the parking lot of St. James Church, Cuenca Street, Ayala Alabang Village.

* Note: Trisomy 13 is a syndrome associated with the presence of a third (extra) number 13 chromosome. It is a syndrome with multiple abnormalities, many of which are not compatible with life. More than 80% of children with trisomy 13 die in the first month. It is associated with multiple abnormalities, including defects of the brain that lead to seizures, apnea, deafness, and eye abnormalities.

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