Twenty four years after it was founded, the BVI Cancer Society continues to, among others, support cancer survivors, educate the masses and advocate for early detection to save lives.
On Friday, October 1, Cancer Society held its annual fundraiser outside the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, a move that signalled the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
President of the BVI Cancer Society Gloria Fahie
told BVI Platinum News that along with trying to raise funds through donations from the public and through the sale of cancer-related memorabilia, the event also serves as a platform to educate persons.
“We also give out information on all types of cancer,” she said.
She continued: “Breast cancer hands down is more prevalent, and coming closely, I would say prostrate and colon.”
She urged persons to “keep checking with your doctors, because some people show up when they are at the last stage, but early detection saves lives. Don’t be afraid.”
Adding to the discourse, the first President of the Cancer Society Mrs. Dawn Corea Leonard, who founded the non-profit organization, said: “Also obesity is one of the contributing factors to breast cancer in particular, so looking at your diet and what you eat is also one of the ways to help prevent early onset. If you detect it early, you have a very good chance of being cured from cancer, so that’s why the awareness is here.”
The second activity for the month is the church service at the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church at 10.30 am, slated for this Sunday.
Other activities will include a collaboration with CIBC First Caribbean International Bank to host the Walk/Run for a cause slated for Sunday, October 9 and Paint the Town Pink on October 19.
“This year, we believe in hope, and we have the rainbow colours for different cancers and ‘their fight is our fight’ is this year’s slogan all of the different cancers,” Fahie
said the Cancer Society assists about 30 cancer patients on average per year.
She also said one hundred per cent of the funds goes directly back into the community to aid with chemotherapy, radiation, lab tests and if someone has to travel abroad for treatment.
“Cancer is a very expensive disease, and so we assist persons who may need a little extra assistance, we assist them. It is not a full payment of their bill, but it is a little assistance that we give, and it goes a long way and people are very appreciative of it,” Mrs. Leonard added.
She said persons could access assistance by contacting the Cancer Society, filling out a form with supporting evidence of one’s illness, and the board will then make a decision.