Dod Pieci! charity marathon raised 438,197 euros in Latvia

This year the Dod Pieci! (Gimme Five!) charity marathon raised a record amount of money, generating 438,197 euros to provide special liquid food for patients unable to eat solids due to their medical conditions, and other palliative care support, according to organizers Latvian Public Media on December 23.

The Dod Pieci! charity marathon was held from December 17-23. This year's marathon also saw a record number of donated songs, which shows the broad popularity of the event. “We can see everyone gathering at the glass studio - students with teachers, families with children, youth and seniors - and in a sense it's not surprising,” said studio DJ Toms Grēviņš.

“We're aware that this topic affects each of us, and we're all equally responsible so that no one would have to die of starvation, thirst and unbearable pain. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who was with us – we felt it,” said Grēviņš.

Anyone who has a family member in palliative care could apply for assistance through the Dod Pieci! or Zeidot.lv websites. At the end of the marathon the charity team also sent an open letter to the highest state officials responsible ministries pointing out systematic problems with palliative care.

“Even though society has shown great support, the donated money still only covers the bare minimum necessary support and won't last long. That's why we urge the government and officials to set improving the palliative care system as a priority for 2020,” said the letter.

As previously reported, President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia and Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania held round-table discussions following up on the recent NATO summit meeting in London, then wandered across to lend their support to the Dod Pieci charity marathon.The presidential trio took to the airwaves (partly in English) and choosing their own songs. First Lady Andra Levite also attended the marathon final and thanked the DJs and donors for their work.

Families will also be able to use the donated money for physical therapy, dietary consultations, special transportation services or specialized care products. Medications won't be covered.

Also reported, this was the sixth time the station's DJs have locked themselves into a perspex box while broadcasting to the nation and collecting donations, with members of the public urged to give at least five euros in order to get a record request played on the air. 

The marathon broadcast was 152.5 hours long as was held in Dome Square, right beside the Christmas market.

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