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The UAE’s Youngest Lot Comes Forward to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

Mar 11, 2017

7th Pink Caravan Ride’s children’s riding event was attended by 80 young riders
For immediate release
Sharjah, 11 March 2017

A number of children this Friday (10 March) afternoon skipped the usual amusement parks, gaming arcades and malls to advocate for breast cancer awareness. About 80 young horse riders, starting at the age of 2 y/o, came in with their horses and ponies to participate in the Pink Caravan Ride’s first ever Children’s Ride, which they organised in collaboration with Desert Palm Dubai.

A realisation of Pink Caravan’s efforts to sensitise the youth about the risks and remedies of cancer from an early age, and enhance their community engagement irrespective of gender, nationality, age or ability, the track for the Children’s Ride was shared by youngsters from Dubai Riding for the Disabled Institute and Al Mamoun Therapy – institutes training special needs children the equestrian arts, along with Freedom Riders – an independent riders’ group who ride for all abilities.

12-year-old Maddie originally from England, part of the Dubai Riding for the Disabled Institute, rode her pony on one limb, which she lost to cancer six years go. “I just want to ride to celebrate a good cause, and raise money for breast cancer. My neighbours got a horse two years ago and I wanted to try it, so I started riding theirs. I haven’t stopped since,” said bright-eyed Maddie.

Upon being asked about what she knew about breast cancer, she said: “I know that it is dangerous and affects many women.”

Some of these young riders got to know about the event that very morning, but still made it to the Ride at short notice.

“There are so many people here, and it is very helpful indeed because all the money raised at such charity events are used for life-saving research, and spreads a lot of awareness so it is really great. We were at the Hunter Trials this morning and got to know about the Pink Caravan Children’s Ride. We dropped everything else to be here because breast cancer awareness is a great cause and we wanted to be part of it,” said Lea El-Tibi and Adele, two young ladies who ride at the stables in Dubai.

9-year-old horse rider and golfer, Fay El Hajjad got to know about the event from her mother, and spread the word among all her friends, said: “Someone in the family of a close friend had breast cancer, so I knew a little about it. When mum told me about this ride, I wanted to sign up. I also told my friends to join, tell their family members and other students at school to participate.”

“I know it took a long time to find a cure for cancer, but now we can cure many cancers. I want people to know all about it,” she added.

The event saw the participation of Pink Caravan Ambassadors Mariam Al Shurafa and Olympia Tabach. Junior Ambassadors, 2.5-year-old Sheikha Hind bint Mohammed Bin Faisal Al Qasimi, and her brother, 4-year-old Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Faisal Al Qasimi joined the cause with their horses.

At the end of the ride, children proceeded to enjoy a bouncy castle, face painting, and arts and craft in an event dressed up in pretty shades of pink. A Pink Caravan Ride medical kiosk provided free physical checkups and consult to 23 women at the event. The fixed clinics across the seven emirates conducted 267 breast cancer screenings.  

The main event sponsor was Bank of Sharjah.  

This event questions existing perceptions about advocacy and leadership – who should and who shouldn’t, who is capable and who is not, and who would be interested and who wouldn’t – and is a big step forward in educating the youth to consider themselves a crucial part of driving community awareness and change.

Themed ‘Seven Years for Seven Emirates’, the 10-day ride is travelling across the seven emirates from 7 to 17 March, offering free breast cancer screenings, and raising awareness about the disease by emphasising on the significance of early detection.

The horse riders will set off on today’s journey (Sunday) at 09:30 from Um Al Quwain Hospital, and travel 19.5 km to reach Salt Restaurant in Ajman, where they will end the day’s ride.

Mobile medical clinics will operate across the seven emirates during the 10-day ride. Today, it will offer free breast cancer screenings and other medical check-ups in Al Salama Health Center, Um Al Quwain (for women and men) from 09:00 to 19:00. Those exclusively for women will be available at Um Al Quwain Hospital from 09:00 to 19:00, and the Manama Health Center and Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Ajman from 09:00 to 19:00.

A number of awareness activities and fund raising events will be showcased across the seven emirates through the duration of the ride. To stay updated and participate in these activities, visit http://www.pinkcaravan.ae/events-listing.php.

To enhance people’s participation and charitable acts in the ‘UAE Year of Giving 2017’, donations for the Pink Caravan, as low as AED 5 can be made by sending an SMS to 2302 (Etisalat or du). Direct fund transfers can be made to Pink Caravan's Sharjah Islamic Bank account. The global online social platform ‘JustGiving’, or PC’s official website, Facebook account - ThePinkCaravan, or their mobile app – Pink Caravan, can also be used for making donations.