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Apr 8, 2015

Activist Promotes Awareness of Cervical Cancer

Cancer Awareness Month is just around the corner and while the Belize Cancer Society prepares for its annual pilgrimage from Ladyville to the Old Capital, one woman is busy preparing for an upcoming event this weekend.  Arlette Pilgrim, President of the Belize Cancer Society of California is back in the country and on this visit she is promoting awareness for cervical cancer.  The initiative is the result of a personal loss a year ago when a friend of Pilgrim’s succumbed to the disease.  The activist stopped by our office earlier today to speak about the coming activity.


Arlette Pilgrim, President, Belize Cancer Society of California

“This new campaign that I have is about cervical cancer and it is called, “Not Clear; Get Checked.” The mission behind this campaign is to make women aware about the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and what they should look for and that they need to go have a papsmear, how often they should have it and what are the causes of cervical cancer.”


Isani Cayetano

“I understand that there is an event that’s upcoming with regards to continued awareness with cervical cancer.”


Arlette Pilgrim

Arlette Pilgrim

“Yes, this weekend, on Saturday from three till five at B.T.L. Park, I will be at the park and what we are doing is we are having the cervical cancer campaign. We are giving away one thousand panties to women who come out and if you notice, the panties have a panty-liner. There is an informational flyer that talks about cervical cancer, what normal discharge is and what abnormal discharges are. And on the back of the flyer has more information pertaining to cervical cancer—what you should do and just to be more proactive about your health.”


Isani Cayetano

“Explain to the general public the need for further knowledge and awareness with regards to cervical cancer.”


Arlette Pilgrim

“In December, I lost a young lady that I came to Belize last year to help and I’ve been helping for a year—she lost her battle to cervical cancer. It was something that really affected me really bad and it made me want to find a way to reach out to other women about cervical cancer because a lot of women are dying of cervical cancer much younger than we’ve seen before. And here in Belize, I just feel like if we are not on top of it before we get cancer, there is going to be a serious problem and the pain and the suffering that is associated with this disease is horrible. This disease is preventable and if we be proactive about our health, we can at least get the proper treatment. We can prevent getting cervical cancer if we are doing our papsmears every three years. Everybody seems to be a little shocked about the thousand panties and when I came up with this idea, I just thought why not? Why not do something different? Why not try to teach our young ladies in a different way and hopefully this will get their attention enough for them to take hold of their lifestyle and change their lifestyle. I also made leather bracelets and it says I am my sister’s keeper because the thing about cervical cancer is about empowering women to share the information and to feel open and that they can talk to other women about this disease.  It really affects me because I feel strongly about it. I don’t want to see another Belizean woman die of this disease.”


Isani Cayetano

“Now I understand that there is also a raffle taking place within this event. Can you elaborate for us?”


Arlette Pilgrim

“Throughout this event, I brought Victoria Secret’s products and I am encouraging women to come out; we are going to be raffling throughout the event, so you have a chance to be winning Victoria Secret products. We also have a table where we will have our prosthetic breasts. I don’t know if you guys remember from last year, but the breast has lumps in it. And this year, I found a prosthetic testicle so I am asking the men to come out as well. And the testicle has lumps in them so if the men want to come out and find the lumps in the testicle; that’s fine. If they are not comfortable with the testicle, then I have a ball that has lumps and so I am just encouraging… come out and learn more, be more informed and to empower each other and not to have any taboo or stereotypes about cancer.”


The event will also cater to awareness of prostate cancer among Belize’s male population.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Activist Promotes Awareness of Cervical Cancer”

  1. Trec says:

    It would be great if we could find the leaflet on line for those of us not able to get to Belize City for the function.

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