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May 31, 2010

1500 walk to promote cancer awareness

One thousand five hundred, that’s the number of persons that participated in the annual Cancer Walk. It’s the highest number so far in the history of the event that is more than a decade old. News Five Isani Cayetano and cameraman Chris Mangar had an early start and captured how the participants fared off for the ten mile event.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The throng of pedestrians who took part in the Fourteenth Annual Cancer Walk on Saturday morning set a new record for participants supporting the fight against the terminal illness.  The nine-mile walk to Belize City kicked off promptly in front of Celina’s Store in Ladyville at five a.m. while most were still fast asleep.  The weather the night before clearly did not deter the estimated fifteen hundred people who showed up for the grueling journey by foot.  Instead Karen Rosito of the Cancer Society says this year’s turnout was overwhelming.

Karen Rosito, Belize Cancer Society

karen rosito

“The walk took approximately two hours, thirty minutes for the slower walkers.  Most finished it in about an hour and a half.  It was an overwhelming success.  I want to thank people who bought our t-shirts because we are completely sold out.  I mean even the shirts that we had last year and the year before were sold out in a matter of minutes.  I want to really thank the people for coming out”.

Among the many, who turned out, was Allan Rivero.  He dedicated his participation in the annual event to the memory of his father who was afflicted with cancer.

Allan Rivero, Participant

“I do it in honor of my father.  My father died from cancer you know so this dah the fourth time I’m walking with them.”

While Rivero paid homage to his father Anthony Neal who suffers from prostate cancer says the show of support was too much to put in words.

Anthony Neal, Participant

“It means a whole lot.  It means a damn lot to me because fih start with the walking is good fi yoh, to keep your cancer down for your health because having cancer you need to be healthy to keep it from spreading.  Yo have to eat properly and live a safe life to keep your mind from straying.”

Echoing that sentiment of healthy living was newly elected Cancer Society president Dr. Laura Longsworth who stressed the need for increased awareness.

In terms of getting the message of cancer awareness out there, how beneficial was this as a vehicle to put that word out there?

Laura Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society

laura longsworth

“You know it’s a very important walk.  This whole initiative started fourteen years ago and it has grown.  We started with a hundred persons, two hundred but what is happening today people have finally heard our message that we have a problem with cancer in our country.  Coming together like this is very important because it shows us that people out there know that somebody for them or somebody in their community has cancer and so they have been hearing us and they understand yes this is important, let’s come out in solidarity.”

Among the many notables who have been taking part in the walk was Kim Simpliss Barrow.

Kim Simpliss Barrow, Founder, Lifeline Foundation

“This is my third walk. I, we walked, jogged, two years ago and this is the third one.  I think this year was better.  I think they had a lot more people this year and it was a lot more organized.  I would want to see this continue because this brings awareness of cancer in our society but I also think that we need to step it up a notch and it‘s good to see so many people participating and show their faces and putting a face to cancer so that‘s good I think.”

At the end of the journey an award was given to the largest group who participated in the event.  That recognition went to the Police Department and receiving the award on their behalf was Commissioner Crispin Jeffries. Reporting for News Five, Isani Cayetano.

At the end of the journey an award was given to the largest group who participated in the event.  That recognition went to the Police Department and receiving the award on their behalf was Commissioner Crispin Jeffries.

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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