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May 28, 2013

Successful walk for Cancer Awareness

Thousands came out at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning for the 2013 cancer walk from Ladyville to Belize City. Their common purpose was to raise awareness about the different types of cancer. Since the first walk, the numbers have grown consistently but this year, it ballooned to a new record. There were compelling and personal stories from walkers as to why they stepped up the pace and walked against cancer. Duane Moody joined in the event.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

And they were off… at exactly five a.m. sharp, Cancer Walk 2013 commenced with a record number of persons participating. Organizers say over five thousand persons—more than double last year’s outturn—came out to promote cancer awareness.

 

Daedra Haylock, PR, Belize Cancer Society

Daedra Haylock

“It makes us feel so good. This is the support that we want, this is the awareness we want. Just by out here walking, they’ve made themselves a little more conscious; maybe it opens their minds that they start asking the questions. They at least know that the Belize Cancer Society is here and we are here to help and support persons and survivors of cancer. It continues because we continue to invite ourselves into work places, we continue to let work places know that we are here to come in and talk to your employees. We go to schools to let them know that there are children who are survivors of cancer and we are here to support them as well. So we continue to push the work, to raise the funds to help the patients who need help.”

 

Athletes, students, families and various organizations came out in solidarity including the Women’s Department and the Belize Red Cross.

 

Cynthia Williams, Acting Director, Women’s Department

“As a staff, we always try to promote healthy activities and we feel that this is a very opportune moment for us to do a staff walk because we know many people who are survivors,… It is important for families to be involved. It is even more important to find out information and to get tested; to get their checkups on time for both men and women because it is something that is touching everyone.”

 

Evelyn Landaverry, Belize Red Cross

“This is the first year that we participate. We are here to do registration to support the cause for the Belize Cancer Society.”

 

Duane Moody

“Are you guys also providing first aid services?”

 

Evelyn Landaverry

Evelyn Landaverry

“Yes, we are also here in case anybody needs any assistance. We have BERT as well, but the volunteers are here to assist as well.”

 

This is the second year that couple, Mister and Misses Novelo, is participating in the walk.

 

Lolita Novelo, Participant, Cancer Walk 2013

“It was a nice lee exercise for the morning.”

 

Duane Moody

“Is this the first time that you guys are doing this?”

 

Lolita Novelo & Roberto Novelo

Lolita Novelo

“No second year.”

 

Duane Moody

“Why did you guys feel that it was important to be a part?”

 

Roberto Novelo, Participant, Cancer Walk 2013

“Well because one of my sisters mi got cancer one time and that is why I support and why I come every year. This year we think we neva mi wah make it, but we try come and support cancer society.”

 

One person who caught our attention was sixty-nine year old Rose Marie Skeen, who danced her way the entire route and had fun while supporting the cause.

 

Rose Marie Skeen, Participant, Cancer Walk 2013

Rose Marie Skeen

“My sister had cancer—one died and another with cancer. I have a lot of family with cancer; my uncles and so forth. So I am all into it. And we Skeens, we really devoted to cancer society.”

 

Duane Moody

“Yo just gone out there and yo mi di dance up all the way.”

 

Rose Skeen

“Well I always have fun. I always enjoy myself.  You never know the day when you will need help, so we have to support each other because cancer is for all of us—no one, no age, no size; everyone. Cancer is for all of us.”

 

This year, there was big participation by young people.

 

Kishay Williams, Participant, Cancer Walk 2013

“I feel really exhausted, I feel cramped and I’m really dehydrated.”

 

Duane Moody

“Tell us about what you know about cancer and why you felt it was important for you to do it.”

 

Kishay Williams

“Well you never know who might have cancer in your family, maybe just friends or people you don’t even know. So I am just here supporting and it’s my first year. And I came with my best friend and it is her fifth year.”

 

Zoey Tillett

Zoey Tillett, Participant, Cancer Walk 2013

“My grandparents died from cancer, my friend’s mother is battling cancer and my aunt died from cancer.”

 

Along the stretch were several corporate citizens giving their support providing refreshments for the thousands that trekked the distance. Marketing Manager for the San Cas Group of Companies, Aisha Rudon, says that they have been supporting the Belize Cancer Society three years in a row.

 

Aisha Rudon

Aisha Rudon, Marketing Manager, San Cas Group

“San Cas always wants to be a part of support like this. So we sponsored them five hundred dollars on behalf of Seven Seas and we also did some tang ideals which is very refreshing for those who are running and walking. We also have our booth out here giving vitamin C shots which is from Seven Seas and also giving the children some chewable vitamins.”

 

And about two hours after, the participants are left with aches, pains and blisters from the miles of walking and running. At the end of the day, however, it was all worth it.

 

The overwhelming support of so many Belizeans countrywide has cancer survivor, Lillia Young, emotional. She is unable to make the walk due to her condition but says it gives her and other cancer survivors and victims that extra push to stay healthy.

 

Lillia Young, Cancer Survivor

Lillia Young

“I’m a cancer survivor for almost seven years now. And I went through hard times and good times. But most of all, I had god in my life, my family and friends for support. Now I can’t walk the walk, but I have my family and friends that walk the walk for me and I’m overwhelmed and proud that so many people are here today to support the other survivors too.”

 

…And to prove that awareness has no boundaries, even this one year old had on his cancer t-shirt and gave some assisted-steps in support of cancer awareness. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The event concluded with a dedication ceremony for Karen Skeen Vellos, a huge supporter and a board member of the Belize Cancer Society, who was murdered in 2012 at her Ladyville house. Also killed were her husband and daughter.

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1 Response for “Successful walk for Cancer Awareness”

  1. Storm says:

    It’s a great cause. Prayers to all of the cancer patients, and many thanks to all the supporters.

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