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Jan 29, 2003

Cancer centre opens in Belize City

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It’s a story–and not always a happy one–that News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has been following for years. Today, however, was a good day for Belizeans facing cancer.

Jacqueline Woods

“Kim, I know your mom worked really long and hard for the cancer hospice. Now that her dream is now being realised, how does the family feel today?”

Kimberly Soberanis-Ellis, Juliet’s Daughter

“We’re very proud. Like you said, it was a lot of hard work. The president put in a lot, along with the committee, especially the building committee, so we’re very proud, the family on a whole is very proud. And we wish she was here to see her dream come true.”

At the moment, the Juliet Orosco Soberanis Hospice Cancer Centre will not be able to provide all the services needed in such a facility but, the construction of the first floor will provide a place where cancer patients and their families can meet to receive comfort and care.

Higinia Leslie, President, Belize Cancer Society

“Presently, the society will only be able to continue with the current services that we are offering, which is teaching of the self-breast examination, doing the breast examination that is practiced by a registered nurse, an outreach group that we have, a counselling group that we have, and we have a supporters group meeting that meets once a month, and that’s to support each other emotionally.”

Jacqueline Woods

“This is just the first floor of the centre, there are plans to construct two more other floors.”

Higinia Leslie

“We hope that after this opening and the community realising that we are here to stay, this is something that is very important to the community, I hope that we will be able to get more assistance in order to complete the second and third floors.”

Deborah Alvarado, Cancer Survivor

“We know that we really need help because when I look on today, it’s a very painful and increasing situation and I know because thank God five years and a half I’m living as a cancer survivor. And I can tell anybody that it is painful and we need all the comfort and friends that we can have.”

“I feel very happy to know that thank God I’ve come this far to see the opening of the new society. And I know that by the grace of God we will make a success of it.”

To date there are no statistics available on just how many people are living with cancer in the country, but there are plans to establish a cancer registry. The cancer centre was built at a cost one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The money came from the business community, fund raising activities, society members and concerned individuals. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

The Juliet Orosco Soberanis Cancer Centre was constructed by Mario Sandoval and the construction was supervised by Mario Gonzales. Also at today’s ceremonies, B.T.L. presented the society with a cheque for ten thousand dollars raised through special sales of phone cards.

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