Today is a day of solidarity. Since 1992, the Catalan TV station TV3 collects funds for research on different diseases.
First of all I'd like you to think about what is a TV solidarity programme for you. And then, read about "La Marató de TV3".
What is La Marató:
For me, it is a great fund-collecting programme (I am amazed at the funds raised!). A special TV show is broadcasted, there are information campaigns on the chosen disease for the yearly edition, testimonials are recorded and invited to the programme, several activities all over Catalonia (and other Catalan-speaking areas) are organized, people in the Catalan public sphere get involved in it, and a book of short stories and an album with Catalan versions of English songs are published. So as you see, despite the fact that La Marató is an idea born in a TV station, nowadays it has gone far beyond the mere TV show and it has really engaged people.
It is possible to make donations by participating in the activities, buying the book or the CD, by making a bank transfer or by telephone. All the funds are given to research foundations.
This 2009 edition is about minority diseases. As my boyfriend Xavi explains in his blog about science (in Catalan, so here you have the translation):
I'll only tell you that minority diseases affect very few people (one out of 2,000, even less in some cases), but globally there are 400,000 people who suffer minority diseases in Catalonia. This might explain the poor private investment dedicated to these diseases, and therefore public investment to study them is necessary. Usually, minority diseases have a genetic origin; that is why they have such a low incidence: natural selection prevents transmission of the causing genes. You can find more information on the show and the many minority diseases that will be addressed (including personal stories) in La Marató's web [English version] and their blog [only Catalan]. You can also become a fan in Facebook.
Although La Marató is held today, since the beginning of December, there have been sensitivisation campaigns mainly in the form of ads. I would like to share this year's ad, which clearly explains the goals of the show, although it does not have much relationship with minority diseases. The spot's slogan is "Hi ha persones que neixen per ajudar els altres" (There are people who are born to help other people).
I would also like to share two ads of the 2005 and 2006 editions, which I specially like:
2005 edition focused on Alzheimer and other brain diseases. The ad is just brilliant, with background music of the Catalan version of "All my life" by the Beatles. Two kids are recording daily life common sounds for their grandma who suffers Alzheimer to help her remember.
2006 edition addressed chronic pain. No need for translation.
To watch all editions' ads, click here and look at the section "Els espots de les anteriors edicions".
Finally, if you fancy a taste of how Catalan versions of English songs sound like, follow this link.
What about your area? Are there things like La Marató organised?