OCTOBER is internationally recognised as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Jamaica Cancer Society officially launched a host of activities for October, dubbed ‘Pink Month’, at the Courtleigh Auditorium on Thursday, September 28.
Under the theme, “Give Hope. Save Lives”, the month of activities will end on Saturday, October 28 at the annual ICWI/Jamaica Reach To Recovery Pink Run which is in its 17th year, and the third year with ICWI as the title sponsor.
This year the main fundraiser — Pink Run — will be under the theme ‘Tutus and Tall Socks’. President of the ICWI Paul Lalor has called on Jamaicans to actively support the initiatives outlined and those fighting the effects of cancer.
“Our friends and families locked in this battle with cancer need our collective and individual support to survive. The high volume of cancer patients, survivors and loved ones of those who have lost the battle with cancer in our communities should be met with a strong resolve to join the fight. Let us aim to increase awareness, increase the funds to provide support, and give compassion and our talents to this movement,” he urged.
Yulit Gordon, executive director of the Jamaica Cancer Society, delivered this message: “Most Jamaicans know what a pink ribbon means, especially during the month of October. Indeed, many Jamaicans will be seen wearing pink throughout the month. We can take heart in the fact that Jamaica’s collective awareness of breast cancer has gained great momentum over the past decade. We, however, cannot overemphasise that if there is no early detection through regular breast self-examinations and mammography screening, survival chances will be significantly reduced. Let us therefore be vigilant in making our health and well-being a priority, engage in healthy lifestyle practices, and access the available screening services.”
Chairperson of Jamaica Reach to Recovery Carolind Graham encouraged Jamaicans, especially women, to support the various activities that will be occurring during October.
“With breast cancer in Jamaica at 43.1 per 100,000 women, and 0.6 per 100,000 men, it is imperative that we continue to have these activities to raise awareness about breast cancer and also to spread the importance of regular screenings which can be critical to an early diagnosis,” she said.
There will be several other fundraising activities including the sale of bracelets at several outlets through the island as well as socks and pins.
“I hope Jamaicans will support all our activities, especially our 5K run, as it is a crucial source of funding for Jamaica Reach to Recovery. It enables us to assist women who are diagnosed with breast cancer to get the care needed to live long, productive lives,” added Graham.