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May 29, 2018

Renewal of Support in Annual Cancer Walk

We have been covering the annual cancer walk for years now, and we do so again this year. The walk started in Ladyville with thousands trekking to Belize City to bring awareness to the disease. Youths, men and women who in some way have been touched by family and friends affected by cancer came out despite the downpour prior to the walk. News Five’s Duane Moody got a perspective as to importance of the yearly event.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Cancer Walk, as has been seen in previous year, brings out thousands of persons annually. This past Saturday, to mark the close of cancer awareness month, many from across the country converged in Ladyville to walk for health. And at five a.m., they were off…the Phillip Goldson Highway was flooded with a sea of persons of all ages as they participated in Cancer Walk 2018. No matter age, race or even gender, it was about spreading the awareness of the disease. Senior Administrator at the Belize Cancer Society, Heather Reneau says the turnout was impressive despite the heavy rains hours before the walk began.

 

Heather Reneau

Heather Reneau, Senior Administrator, Belize Cancer Society

“We did not expect this especially last night with all that thunder that lightning, but we have to say it was showers of blessings. So thank you to everybody who came out to support this cause.”

 

Duane Moody

“Why is this necessary every year doing this cancer walk?”

 

Heather Reneau

“Because we have to show we care for each other; we have to show that we have community spirit—not only at carnival time and when we have all the celebration—but we need to support for a cause. And this is a cause that is important to everything. And if you see, we have foreigners, we have local people, we have people from out district; everybody came for cancer walk because everybody is affected. You might know somebody—a neighbor, a friend or somebody—and it is a community spirit. It shows that you are there to support.”

 

…and indeed, there were professionals, athletes and entire families out in support. The one thing in common – they all know or are related to someone who has died, is affected by or is a survivor of cancer.

 

Nicolette Forman

Nicolette Forman, Participant, Cancer Walk 2018

“Every year, every year because my grandmother died from cancer so to show support I make sure I come out and at least walk and run part of this journey. They don’t know how much fun it is. You get to actually socialize; you get to meet new people. it is not really a run, it is a walk and you get to exercise, you get that energy to start your Saturday chores if you do that like myself. And you get to show support for people who really can’t do it for themselves.”

 

Duane Moody

“Why did you decide to participate in the Cancer Walk?”

 

Princessa Tillett

Chyla Rhamdas, Participant, Cancer Walk 2018

“…because my auntie died from cancer.”

 

Princessa Tillett, Participant, Cancer Walk 2018

“A lot of my family has died from cancer and I want to support them and who has died from cancer too.”

 

Chyla Rhamdas

Duane Moody

“Would you suggest for your friends, your classmates, your colleagues to also come out and support?”

 

Chyla Rhamdas

“Yes definitely because it is a worthy cause and many people have cancer and are suffering from cancer so this is a form of support.”

 

Andrew Munnings

Andrew Munnings, Participant, Cancer Walk 2018

“I think it is important to spread the awareness of cancer, but most definitely my mom, Deborah Alvarado, this is her twenty-second year surviving cancer so that is the reason why I walk and she is my life. And because of all of that, she made all of this possible and today I want to celebrate her, all who have passed and all who are battling cancer at this moment.”

 

The many faces in the walk confirm that Belizeans, including the youth, are engaged and willingly participating in the awareness campaign. The Kidney Diabetes Associations also participated with the Belize Red Cross and BERT providing ambulatory services for those who may need medical attention.

 

Ronald Stuart

Ronald Stuart, Participant, Cancer Walk 2018

“I’ve been doing it for all the years except for about one. I look forward to it. It is a healthy lifestyle and beyond what we do today, it’s the choices that we make every day.”

 

Victor Martin

Victor Martin, Staff Sergeant, B.D.F.

“We are here supporting cancer survivors. I have my mom who is also a cancer survivor; my uncle. So I am doing it for them.”

 

Aside from raising awareness, Cancer Walk is also the biggest fundraiser of the Cancer Society, which works along with patients affected by the non-communicable disease.

 

Heather Reneau

“We are meeting the target; we still have a little bit of shirts available. So even if you didn’t make the walk, we invite you to come on out after that walk and you will definitely be supporting us. The support is so necessary because each one of us could be affected. We had a baby come in just yesterday not even five months old. Think about that? A child not even beginning to fight their life and a family has to figure out how to get this child to treatment. So we have babies all the way to adults. So people have to come together, families have to rally together to show that we care for not only our family but anybody affected by cancer or any other NCDs.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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