In 1992 the first telethon in Spain was broadcasted from the Catalan television channel TV3. That year the fundraising event lasted 6 hours and raised 1,2 million euros that were donated to develop a register and to find donors of bone marrow to try to heal people with leukemia. After this great success, a year after the cause chosen was Down syndrome and nearly twice the amount of money was raised!
Since then every year a couple of weeks before Christmas we know there is the Marató de Tv3 and there will be a long TV program – of about 15-16 hours the past few years- but also hundreds of events all around Catalonia to support the fundraising event. There are concerts, dance shows, spinning lessons, theatre, meals, wine tastings, jogging guided tours, mass cycling itineraries and all kinds of cultural, sporting and social events which cost is any donation people wish to give.
For ten years now there is also a special CD recorded by great singers from around Spain that sing songs of other bands or singers adapted for the occasion and with its lyrics translated into Catalan. Everybody that buys the cd in the shop or online contribute directly to the campaign fund.
A couple of years ago in the worst moment of the economical crisis in Spain this telethon raised 12.387.634 € to invest in scientific research against cancer. It was just amazing if we think that Catalonia is got only 7,5 million inhabitants.
This year all money raised will be devoted to heart diseases. Over thousand phone lines are operative today to answer to phone calls of donors. This is thanks to over thousand volunteers that will dedicate a few hours of this Sunday to the fundraising cause. Anyway, all around Catalonia there are several thousands of people that have been long working and preparing the activities that take place this weekend: marking the trails in the mountain for runners that will participate in the supportive run or march; rehearsing for their concert, show or flash mob; gathering the team of people to cook hundreds of “escudella i carn d’olla” (traditional Christmas dish in Catalonia) or get ready to serve hundreds of hot chocolate with melindros, for instance.
The Marató de TV3 is the day of being caring about illnesses, the day to contribute in scientific research and other programs that will benefit many people, perhaps someone we know at some point. It is also an active and festive day, where many meet to participate in activities and share a bit of their weekend with others for a good cause.