Georgetown: The annual cancer awareness walk was unlike any witnessed thus far, with an approximate three thousand people supporting the event, which kicked off this morning with the 5k/10k races, at the Parade Ground, Middle Street, Georgetown. Funds from the event will go towards the Guyana Cancer Foundation (GCF) to continue its work of raising awareness and providing free sonograms, mammograms and pap smears to women in the lower income brackets.
Persons from all walks of life, men, women and children walked, ran and even skated through the streets of Georgetown, in support of those who are battling the disease and those who have lost the fight.
In an emotional display, pink balloons were released into the sky in remembrance of those who have passed on and those still fighting.
The event which was sponsored majorly by GTT and Trinidadian company, JSL International, among other corporate sponsors is expected to attract larger participation in 2018, judging from this year’s turnout.
GCF’s President, Bibi Hassan was overwhelmed by the support, noting that “it was like everything I visualized has materialised.” She promised to keep up with her efforts in fighting the dreaded disease to which she has lost many close friends and family, with her mother being a survivor of stage two breast cancer as well.
The first, second and third place winners of the 5k and 10k races, who were all men, received prizes compliments of JSL International. The company’s Corporate Communications Adviser, Renata Khan, who was very hyped by the tremendous support, “if you have survived cancer, hats off to you for supporting those cancer survivors. I want to say to you lets come out and continue to support this walk,” she encouraged, while pledging the company’s continued support to the annual venture, and the GCF.
Francine Leith, a cancer survivor, in an interview with the Department of Public Information, said that “awareness is the first step…making persons aware of the situation in Guyana, in terms of cancer and letting them know that early detection saves lives.”
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway and Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green participated in the walk.
Cancer afflicts many people around the world; advocates are lobbying for greater awareness and funds to facilitate cancer research, treatment and eventually a cure.
Guyana has joined the rest of the world in observing breast cancer awareness month with a number of activities being held throughout October.