One new event that is planned for this Sunday, is dubbed, “Real Men Wear Pink Sunday.” On this day, all men attending church across the nation, in every denomination, are being encouraged to show their support for the cause, simply by wearing pink. The Foundation has already gotten the backing of a number of church leaders who have invited the males in their congregation especially, to wear something pink, which is the colour used to identify with the cause of cancer.
When the group attended morning service last Sunday at the Zion Moravian Church in Basseterre, the presiding minister let known his his solid support, saying that he hopes to see all the males in his flock, joining the cause and showing that they care.
Traditionally, men have had a tendency to avoid pink outfits, simply because they and society have been socialized to accept blue as the colour for boys (or men) and pink, designated for girls (or women). Gradually, men throughout the world have been debunking this notion and have started to demonstrate, with much confidence, that real men do wear pink.
Wearing pink is a small but important gesture that there is a shared concern and that men and women are in solidarity with the efforts to find a cure and to comfort and treat those who have fallen victims to a disease that is increasingly taking the lives of so many citizens, stated a spokesperson.
While the day is termed, Real Men Wear Pink Sunday, women and children too are also being encouraged to do likewise and support the cause, said Pamela Armstrong-Hendrickson, president of the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation.
Armstrong said her foundation’s activities have been taking shape and they recently turned attention to the younger generation.
The sensitization initiatives shifted focus on Monday and Tuesday this week with Talks in High Schools, targeting teenagers and their adult teachers about the challenges and dangers of the dreaded disease that is already taking the lives of mothers and daughters in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Reports are that for this year, there has been a significant increase in new breast cancer cases.
While the risk of breast cancer usually takes hold in women from the age of 40, there have already been cases of earlier detection in females still in their 20s and 30s. Therefore, reaching women with the right message, before its too late, has become a priority, thus the move to target high school students. Representatives of the Foundation also used the occasion to encourage teachers and students to participate in the upcoming walk-a-thon, which has become one of the biggest cancer awareness events in the country.
According to the Foundation’s President Pamella Armstrong, registration for its major fundraiser ‘Walk for the Cause’ is going well. What’s new is that the shirts have arrived on island. On Friday 9, Armstrong said interested persons can go to the Circus in downtown Basseterre, get a look at the shirts, their sizes and design, then register to walk in support of breast cancer awareness.
According to the foundation’s president, the walk has been growing in significance since its start six years ago. She said, “The very first walk we were amazed, because we had over 300 people… Last year we had over 900 persons participating. So, we are preparing for over 1,000 walkers this year.”
The walk will be held on Saturday, 17th October, starting at the lower parking lot of Caribbean Cinemas complex, Buckley’s. Starting at 6 a.m., the walkers will take the F T Williams Highway to the last round-a-bout in Frigate Bay, where breakfast will be served.
The walk is a very important event for the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, as it raises funds that are used to assist persons who need help for treating breast cancer. Hendrickson explained that after the shock of being diagnosed for breast cancer, the next problem is finding the financial resources to treat what she described as “a very expensive disease”.
The Foundation continues to receive the moral and financial support of its most recent and major sponsor, Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI), which recently donated EC$10,000 to the cause, and is doing so, in several other Caribbean islands.