Scores of citizens and residents come forward in support of breast cancer awareness campaign
• On day 5, Pink Caravan Ride will march in Fujairah
• PCR carried out 3119 consultations, including 781 in Dubai
• Pink Regatta celebrated cancer survivors
• Dubai Design District communities take part in Pink Strides
Sharjah, February26, 2019
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can take a patient’s life into a downward spiral. However, for 52-year-old Nahla Sharif, it gave her a new lease and perspective on life. Since her 2014 cancer treatment journey, she decided to enjoy life and live every moment like there was no tomorrow.
She and other survivors shared their personal stories and cancer treatment journeys while taking part in Day 3 of the ninth edition of Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) in Dubai Design District(D3) yesterday (Monday), which is currently travelling across the seven emirates raising awareness on the importance of early detection and offering free-screening to all members of society across the seven emirates.
“I realized that for once, I should enjoy life, and not worry about daily burdens and all that might bring me down or keep me occupied in trivial annoying matters. During my treatment journey, I started going out more, venture and explore my surroundings, and live life to the fullest,” said Nahla.
To date, she undergoes a chemo therapy on a weekly basis and find solace and fun through the bounds of friendship she forged through her affiliation with Friends of Cancer Patients, organizers of PCR.
“Life does not end with cancer diagnosis. For me, it was the beginning of a new chapter of hope, fun, and enjoying what every day has in store of me. Through FOCP, I found many friends who shared the same experience as I did, and now we are enjoying our lives together.”
She takes part in almost every FoCP event and activity to raise awareness, support and share her experience with other women.
“PCR is an important event, with a noble cause that aims to save lives and raise awareness. I encourage every woman to step forward and use the services of the PCR clinics, to detect any cancer related problem at an early stage.”
The day of campaigning in Dubai was marked by 781free screenings, a Pink Regattaorganised by Nakheel Marine Group paraded around Dubai Canal, in additionto a Junior Fun Day at D3. The children’s activity featured a small ride for young equestrians alongside a line-up of fun games and sports.
A huge turnout from D3 and Dubai Sports Council communitiesmarched alongside horse riders in the annual Pink strides to raise awareness and encourage men and women to benefit from PCR mobile clinic services stationed in the district. Leading the 2km stride were HE ReemBinKaram, Head of Pink Caravan Higher Organizing Committee; Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of Nakheel Marine Group; General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council; Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District; and HE Nasser Al Rahman, Assistant General of Dubai Sports Council.
Other clinics were strategically positioned at Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, Emirates Transport, and the Indian International School DSO. They offered free-screening and consultations to men and women of all ages throughout the day, in addition to a fixed clinic at Ibn Batuta Mall that will continue offering its services until March 2.
Sana’ Abu Shamalah, a mother of five, felt a lump in her breast one day and hurried to a doctor who told her that it might be a hormone problem and she went her way without any treatment. Luckily for her, PCR came to Ajman and she got examined and sent for a mammogram.
“The mammogram confirmed that I had breast cancer, the news came down as horrendous thunder on my husband and children. Cancer means the end in our part of the world. It was a tough time on my family, as I started treatment and underwent surgery and chemotherapy sessions,” said the 48-year-old Palestinian.
“PCR and FOCP saved my life, I am now a cancer survivor thanks to them, they gave me a new lease on life and offered us moral and financial support throughout my treatment and until this very day.
“I am now pushing every woman I know to get screening, to avoid unnecessary prolonged and sometimes complex treatment, when they can get treated easily at an early age,” added Sanaa’
HE ReemBinKaram, commented: “Every year, we organize several events and activities during PCR where we bring cancer survivors to share their stories and their journey to recovery. These stories serve as an inspiration to other patients and encourages others to go get screened.”
BinKaram called on men and women to visit PCR clinics and get free screening, to ensure their wellbeing.
“The Pink Caravan Ride brought all members of society under one umbrella focused on raising awareness and prevention of breast cancer. All the good deeds and values of PCR compels us as members of society to take part in this vital community outreach program. At Nakheel, we are honored to be part of PCR and organize the Pink Regatta to celebrate the courageous cancer survivors and help raise awareness of the community,” said Saeed Hareb.
Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District, commented: “We are delighted to support events like PCR in collaboration with Dubai Sports Council this year. At d3, supporting initiatives such as this is tremendously important to every one of us and it is heart-warming that so many of the creative community joined the parade to support the project. We hope to welcome more events like this in the future which resonate closely with our community.”
On Tuesday, horse riders trekked in Um Al Quwain on horseback, starting at the Marvelous Workshop, and concluded the ride at Umm Al Quwain Museum.
The Pink Caravan Ride will march in Fujairah on Wednesday.
The PCR’s ninth edition will continue until March 1, traveling around the seven emirates, accompanied by 40 fixed and mobile medical clinics that will offer free early detection screenings and consultations for all community segments throughout the weeklong tour.