Weeklong breast cancer awareness campaignconcludes in Louvre Abu Dhabi
• 150 riders, 300+ medical practitioners and volunteerstraveledover 170 km to spread breast cancer awareness around the UAE
• 6,098 free clinical examinations offered by the fixed and mobile clinics in seven days
• Medical Fixed Clinics to remain functional in Sharjah and Ajman until March 5
Sharjah, March 1, 2019
HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of State for Tolerance, stressedthe important role played bythe Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) – a pan-UAE breast cancer awarenessinitiative by Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) – in motivating individuals and institutions to serve the community, and instill principles of solidarity and compassion in societies.
His remarks came during a keynote speech at the closing ceremony of the ninth edition of PCR which had its final leg of the journey in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Each year, more than 150 Pink Caravan riders trekaround the seven emirates gauging residence and advocating early screening to prevent breast cancer. During the 7-day campaign, more than 30 fixed and mobile clinics offeredconsultations and free medical examinations to all members of society.
During his speech at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sheikh Nahyanlauded the efforts of all, saying: “I would like to express my gratitude for all those involved in PCR. I salute your commitment to the noble cause, and for being role models eager and determined to build a healthy and bright future for allcommunity members.”
“Joining you once again at the end of a successful campaign holds many meanings, including our great appreciation of PCR’s success in achieving its goals, and serving the community and people of the UAE, which is aligned with the country’scontinuous efforts to ensure the wellbeing of every induvial residing in the country,” he continued.
He added: “The Pink Caravan embodies the principles and values focused on the wellbeing of people, and providing the necessary care without prejudice or discrimination. These are the same values and principles set forth by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which we are celebrating in the year of tolerance.”
At the end of his speech, HE Sheikh Nahyan thanked His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the FOCP, for their unwavering support and patronage of PCR.
He urged all stake holders and the community to support PCR and its mission to raise awareness and march towards a healthy and cancer-free society.
The closing ceremony was attended by HE ReemBinKaram, Head of PCR’s Higher Steering Committee; Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of FOCP; prominent UAE figures and VIPs were also in attendance; along with all volunteering riders, equines, medical experts, the events, logistics and media committees.
In her welcome note, HE ReemBinKaram, praised the efforts of every participant in the Pink Caravan Ride, highlighting their unwavering support and commitment in preparation and through the seven days of campaigning that yielded unrivaled success.
“We began our 9th annual trek equipped with knowledge and support of the community. Now we are in our country’s capital closing another successful chapter with high hopes.
Hope is a product of knowledge and awareness. The only way to fight breast cancer is through raising awareness about the disease and the importance of early screening andhaving the medical knowledge and expertise to prevent it. Hope is the 98% success rate of breast cancer treatment, if individuals conduct early screening.
“When we talk about hope, we need to mention those who help realize it. The crew, committees, and the volunteers who spared no effort to lead the Pink Caravan through the seven emirates, raise awareness of the community and deliver a clear message to individuals and the community that breast cancer is treatable, and they are not alone in their fight against the disease.
“We are here today to celebrate cancer survivors who became a beacon of hope by sharing their personal stories during the ride. We celebrate new milestones achieved in raising public awareness about breast cancer that was evident in the thousands of people who came forward for consultation and screening,” she said.
During her speech, she lauded the corporate social responsibility of institutions, hospitals, and government bodies that welcomed PCR during its 9th annual trek across the UAE. She also thanked the scores of pupils from Sharjah Children who welcomed and journeyed with the pink riders on the eastern cost of the country.
“Children’s participation in PCR this year is in line with PCR’s goal to raise a well-informed young generation about cancer and ways to prevent it. Youth are the leaders of tomorrow who will be capable of championing our cause in the future,” BinKaram added.
She stressed that PCR would not have reached its goals and achieved massive success every year without the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah; and his wife Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of FOCP.
“In its ninth edition, PCR has witnessed the participation of 150 riders, and 300+ medicalpractitioners and volunteers whotrekked over 170 km to spread our message. The PCR family will keep on marching while raising the banner of hope and wellbeing, rally support and raise awareness of all community members to defeat breast cancer,” BinKaramconcluded.
At the end of the ninth Pink Caravan Ride,6,098 peoplereceived screenings, mammograms and expert medical advice. The Medical Awareness Committee of the ride revealed the breakup includes 5,504 women and 594 men. The total number comprised of706 locals and 5,392 expatriates. The total tally had2,197 people in the 40+ age category and 3,901 individuals below 40 years of age. After the initial screenings, 3,699 individuals were given the safe card, 589 were advised to undergo an ultrasound, 1,810 were referred for a mammogram.
The yearly increase of people under 40-years of age who came forward for screeningis a clear indicator of the increasing awareness about breast cancer, and the importance of early screening to prevent the illness.
The Higher Steering Committee has revealed that these numbers will continue to grow as the fixed medical clinics in Sharjah will remain functional until March 4, while in Ajman it will conclude a day later. PCR and the UAE Red Crescent will jointly operate a screening clinic in Sharjah on March 6. The committee is urging citizens and residents to make the most of the opportunities in both emirates to receive free screenings and expert medical advice.
During the ceremony, ashort film was screened capturing the essence of the year’s journey across the country, raising awareness about breast cancer and encouraging people to come forward and get screened,and shows the warm reception of institutions and the public across the all 7 emirates.
At the end of the closing ceremony, HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and HE ReemBinKaram honored individuals and institutions that supported the annual PCR awareness campaign and were instrumental in championing its cause since its inaugural ride in 2011. These included the strategic partners of the campaign: Sharjah Islamic Bank and Sharjah Broadcasting Company, in addition toover 25 partners of the Pink Caravan Ride.
During the last leg of the 7-day campaign in Abu Dhabi, the pink brigade set off with a ride around Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque before heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi, were they gauged visitors of the museum and introduced them to PCR message.