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Oct 12, 2017

Survivors Gather to Launch Anti-Cancer Flyer

Every year in May, Belizeans are reminded of one of the most deadly diseases affecting citizens – cancer. The threats and risks are numerous and there are several types of cancer affecting both men and women in Belize. The Belize Cancer Society and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children have been creating awareness through various activities in an effort to fight the disease. One such initiative was launched today, carrying a positive message that resonates with cancer survivors and their loved ones. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children has been partnering with the Belize Cancer Society to bring awareness on the plight of cancer and to encourage yearly screenings and self-exams. For the past four years, cancer survivors have been identified and selected to participate in a cancer empowerment photo shoot; today, for the first time, a ceremony was held to unveil the chosen picture that will grace the Special Envoy’s 2017 Cancer Awareness Flyer.

 

Laura Longsworth

Laura Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society

“For the past four years, this has been happening in kind of not in a publicity and we thought that because cancer survivorship is such a key aspect; it is so important to life, it is the image and it is the whole thing. From the time you become diagnosed until you are free of your cancer, you continue to survive. And our patients and those survivors have to deal with work; they move on with family, they move on with life.”

 

Also present at today’s launch were cancer survivors, including those featured in the flyers over the years, as well as various members of the police department and the public. The launch was very emotional for several persons, including the Special Envoy herself, who is a survivor of breast cancer.

 

Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“It is not an easy journey. We might make it look easy. But the emotional, mental and physical toll that cancer does to you is something that cannot be easily explained.  Our second photo shoot was this one and this one is a very emotional one. We have lost two of the ladies in this photo. The message here was be a survivor. You can lose your hair, you can lose your breast and you can lose your good health, but you do not have to lose your life.”

 

The message is that with support, the cancer society is able to give cancer patients a fighting chance and provide support during a trying journey. This year, several private sector companies partnered with the initiative. They too have lost friends and family to the disease.

 

Shelley Perera

Shelley Perera, Owner, PINK Boutique

“As a mother, daughter, granddaughter and proud Belizean, I fully support the Special Envoy of Women and Children and the Belize Cancer Society. I praise the efforts that have been made and continue to be made to honor all those affected by breast cancer and to raise awareness in Belize. I say all because none of us are immune to the effects of breast cancer.”

 

Pricilla Quigley

Pricilla Quigley, Couter Cher

“There wasn’t a hesitation on the request because we have had many customers dear to us lost the fight to cancer and we’ve recently had some diagnosed.  I was just amazed by how positive she was and how faithful she was; unfortunately we lost Misses Carballo. And then later on we were approached by Saving Ashley. We got some ladies glammed up for the night and they did a fashion show to raise funds for Ashley; we lost Ashley as well.”

 

This year’s theme is “A Mile in My Shoe—Walking Through Fear, Hardship and Uncertainty. All We Have To Do is Put One Foot in Front of the Other.” Get screen and perform self-breast examination to check for lumps or other breast changes. Remember early detection saves lives.  Duane Moody for News Five.

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