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May 28, 2015

The Annual Cancer Walk Takes Place on Saturday…Will You Be There?

If you haven’t made up your mind as yet as to whether you’ll be waking up early Saturday morning to join the thousands of participants of the Annual Cancer Walk then maybe the next segment will urge you to set that alarm clock and lace up those sneakers. Tonight on Healthy Living, we catch up with the Belize Cancer Society on the importance of this annual awareness and fundraising activity.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Come Saturday morning, thousands of people will be relieved to be making their way around this curb and into the compound of the Belize Cancer Society on Mercy Lane in Belize City. Families, companies, schools and just supporting individuals have committed themselves to the nine-mile journey from Ladyville to Belize City to show their support to persons affected by cancer and the organization that supports them in their struggles. Senior Administrator at the Belize Cancer Society, Heather Reneau explains the significance of this annual event.

 

Heather Reneau

Heather Reneau, Director, Belize Cancer Society
“The main purpose of the cancer walk is for awareness so it’s education and awareness, building solidarity, bringing families together and as a support. Having support for each other, building support with families and everybody that you meet on the cancer walk. So apart from learning something, you are building the awareness and you become .advocates for cancer care. The walk takes a lot of preparation; we have a cancer walk committee that work closely with the walk. They comprise of not only cancer society members, but we have the police force onboard. We have B.D.F., we have BERT, we have Red Cross, we have the Traffic Police. So it is a lot of moving pieces that gets the walk together every year.”

 

The event was the first activity organized by the Belize cancer Society in 1996 when the organization got started. Since then the number the event has grown into a massive display of public support and awareness.

Heather Reneau

“This year, we are hoping, we are expecting that it will double in size from last year. So we know we had a massive crowd last year and we are very optimistic people so we are hoping that it will at least reach five-six thousand people this year.  As a cancer society, we are an N.G.O. organization so we rely a lot on fundraising and donations from our private and public entities. So for our cancer walk, when we sell our T-shirts, we are asking that you support us. Don’t look at the cost of the T-shirts, look at you are supporting cancer care; you are supporting education. When you see the Cancer Society at those fairs handing out those pamphlets and flyers those costs us. So it’s not only looking at it and saying oh I’m just buying a T-shirt and going for a walk. No, you are walking for a cause; you are raising awareness, you are supporting education; you are supporting treatment. So by you participating in this walk for once a year, you can say you are fulfilling your goodwill initiative for the Cancer Society.”

 

This year’s theme is “Cancer Control – Not Beyond Us;” a message that will be delivered by thousands of Belizeans trekking the Phillip Goldson Highway early Saturday morning.

 

Heather Reneau

“We’re asking people to come out early. Our bus starts moving from three-thirty in the morning. We have bus locations from Channel Five on Coney Drive; we have at Pallotti Bus Stop, Shell One Stop Gas Station, Pound Yard Bridge, Friendship and at Brodies. Now if you purchase an official Cancer Walk T-shirt, you are already registered for the walk. So you can just put your name on the morning and you will get a raffle ticket, which is a raffle ticket that you hold until after the walk. Now if you didn’t get a shirt, we kindly ask you to give a donation at the registration point of five dollars. If you didn’t get your stuff, don’t be disappointed; try to get into the office before tomorrow. We close tomorrow evening at five o’clock. So we urge you to come out. we have very nice gear and you will be impressed with the stuff that you see and I am pretty sure that you won’t just save it for this year. You can wear it over and over again.”

 

This year, after the annual walk, there are a few surprises in store for those who make it back to the Belize Cancer Society compound.

 

Heather Reneau

“After the walk, we have companies coming out giving free samples. They get free milk, free juices, and effervescent tablets. We are having Lasco drinks. We also have a small fundraiser that we do where we offer breakfast items. So we ask you to tuck that money into the side of your pants so that after the walk, you can have some nice healthy breakfast, enjoy the music, meet new people and you will be able to win something as well this year.”

 

The warm up with fitness trainer Karen Rosito starts at four-forty-five in front of the starting point at Celina’s In Ladyville. 

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