The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens kicked off its annual breast cancer awareness campaign last week.
At its launch of month of activities on Tuesday in Camana Bay, Health Minister Osbourne Bodden pledged $10,000 to the club to help its efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Mr. Bodden praised the club for its work in educating women and their families about cancer awareness and prevention.
“The Cayman Islands is losing women of all ages ... and, as we have heard, men as well. We cannot afford for members of the population who are at risk to be ignorant of any information or resources that could save their lives,” said Mr. Bodden.
Throughout September, the club will host breast cancer awareness meetings in the local districts and people can also attend the district health clinics on select days throughout the month to get more information. Other events include a 5K walk/run, a dress down day and a “day of beauty”.
Mr. Bodden told the audience at last week’s launch that it is important for the wider community to be educated about the principles of prevention which, “according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, are: get screened for breast cancer regularly; control weight and exercise; know your family history of breast cancer; and also find out the risk and benefits of hormone replacement therapy,” he said.
Mr. Bodden added that early detection of breast cancer offered the best chance of survival.
“As such, it is imperative that all women learn and practice breast self examinations and receive clinical exams and mammograms in the ages at which these are appropriate,” he said, but acknowledged that “sometimes this is easier said than done, for it was a surprisingly common response to put off doing things that we dread.”
Since the Lions of Tropical Gardens started its breast cancer awareness campaign some 16 years ago, its goal has been to reach all women, and the male population as well, of the Cayman Islands, said President Nereen Thomas.
Since its annual campaign against breast cancer began, Ms Thomas said the Club has issued more than 18,000 vouchers that have enabled women to proactively assess their breast health.
Additionally, she said with the help of sponsors over the years, the club has assisted with other diagnostic methods like ultrasound testing in younger women and a number have been medically assisted with health care and other related costs, both at home and overseas.
“The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens invites others to join us on the mission of “Promoting Early Detection and Survivorship with Love, Care and Hope,” Ms Thomas said, cithing the them of this year’s campaign.
During October, the club will host a series of events. These include:
- North Side district awareness meeting at William Pouchie Memorial Church Hall on Thursday, Oct. 10;
- Brenda Tibbetts Lund 5K Memorial Run Walk, starting at Kaibo Restaurant in North Side at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 and also on Sunday Oct. 13 from Holiday Inn Grand Caymanian in George Town district at 6 a.m. Registration fee is $20. On-site registration starts at 5 p.m., however, people are urged to pre-register by Oct. 5. Walk starts at 6 a.m. and run at 6:30 a.m.
- West Bay district awareness meeting the John Gray Memorial Church Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 15;
- East End Clinic on Thursday, Oct. 17;
- Cut-a-thon, Sunday, Oct. 20 at Eclipze Hair Design;
- Savannah district awareness meeting at Savannah United Church Hall on Monday, Oct. 21;
- George Town district awareness meeting at the Lions Community Centre on Thursday, Oct. 24;
- Dress Down/Dress Pink Day on Friday, Oct. 25.
- Survivors Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 26;
- Day of Beauty on Sunday, Oct. 27 at Sameena’s Beauty Salon;
- George Town GP Clinic on Monday, Oct. 28;
- West Bay Clinic on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
All district meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. and all clinics run from 10 a.m. to noon.