This is the plan that was outlined by the Founder and Executive Director, Pink Lily Cancer Care, Lea Parris Cambridge, who spoke to participants during a special walk-a-thon that was staged in Nevis over the past weekend.
Cambridge told participants that the money raised through the walkathon would help establish the Centre where members of the public will access cancer information and education and where persons diagnosed with cancer and their families will receive care and support.
It was reported that some EC$11,140 was raised from the event on Saturday, (19th October, 2013), in which hundreds participated in the walk that was organized partly as part of the 5th anniversary of Pink Lily Cancer Care.
Participants of all ages and from all walks of life commenced the walkathon at 6.00 am from Chicken Stone to Sunshine’s Bar and Restaurant, Pinney’s Beach where they were treated to breakfast. During the breakfast, various persons paid tribute to persons affected by cancer. A businessman, Earl “Pancho” Morton whose mother died of cancer recited a moving poem about cancer that he wrote recently. Tarana Anadkat a grade 5 student at Lynn Jeffers Primary School gave a speech of the importance of eating healthy and doing exercises.
The first male to complete the walkathon was 13 year old Tajarie Arthurton, the first female was 41 year old Vanessa Williams, and the first child (under 12) was 10 year old Tavon Arthurton. The oldest person to complete the walkathon was 79 year old Dr Gordon Avery. The youngest children who are joint winners who completed the walkathon were 4 year old Natasha Macmullin and 4 year old Miriah Daniel.
“Pink Lily walkathon exceeded the expectations of Pink Lily volunteers. With over 430 walkers during Friday’s registration, the T-shirts ran out with new people registering and asking for last year’s t-shirts because they wanted to support the event.
It was a great turn-out, said one official, who said there were more men this year than in previous years and more children and with mothers pushing strollers. The youngest child in a stroller was nine months’ old,” Pink Lily founder said.
“The awareness has grown over the past five years. We had so many people come out and even people who did not register. We had people who came out just to support the cause. We are happy for that to happen as well. A massive thank you to the general public for supporting the walkathon and for fighting cancer with us,” Lea Parris Cambridge said.
“For the first time, we had a dog walking on the walkathon. There was a t-shirt competition for the most creative t-shirt. The winner of the most creative competition was Mickia Mills.
Among the walkathon enthusiasts was the Minister of Health, Mark Brantley who was participating in the walkathon for the first time. There was a notable presence of cancer survivors, students, children under 12 years and as young as five years who completed the walkathon. Some of the children who participated have lost parents to cancer. A child cancer survivor, who is under five years old also participated in the walkathon.
Brantley commented on the overwhelming turn out: “The turn-out is excellent, much bigger than last year. I think the awareness is growing and that is why we are happy. It means the message is getting out. People are taking responsibility for their health. This is what we want them to do.
“In some cases, cancer is preventable. If discovered early, it is treatable. We want out people to do their pap smears and their breast examinations. These services are being offered by our health system here on Nevis,” Brantley said. The Minister said the Ministry of Health’s priorities were prevention and education.