Breast Cancer Awareness Oct 2022

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Globally, October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, 2022, the Positive and Elektralyets Foundations have organized several pink events during the month of October aimed at increasing the awareness of breast cancer, encouraging warriors, survivors and those who understand the importance of staying in tune with their health, that getting checked is important in saving lives in our community. The events encompass screening opportunities, education, fundraising, fitness, and awareness activities.

Screening Opportunities  

Screening initiatives is an opportunity for women to get a free clinical breast examination. 

The Women’s Health Day at SMMC, an annual event, will be from 9 am- 3pm on October 15th and attendees will have the opportunity to receive a free clinical breast examination carried out by SMMC’s medical specialists and local general practitioners.   In addition to breast cancer screenings for women, SMMC will also offer free blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring, free eye exams, free HIV testing by the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation, free vegan food tasting by Freegan Food Foundation and information on insurance from SZV Social and Health Insurances and Guardian Group.  Screening is an important element in the fight against breast cancer and therefore the foundations have committed and partnered with the SMMC to cover the cost of 100 free mammograms for uninsured women on St. Maarten. To avoid long lines, pre-registering for breast cancer screening is strongly encouraged. Women over the age of 20 are asked to email communications@smmc.sx with their name and phone number to register. Once registered, the attendees will receive confirmation with their appointment time. Walk-ins are welcome and will be facilitated.

Another screening opportunity is the breast abnormalities survey project scheduled for October 1st, 22nd and November 26th which includes a free breast examination and health screening for women over the age of 18 years.  The screening will be held at Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from 9 am to 3pm.  Participants are required to call +1-721-545-2298 ext. 4042357 or email aszeinfeld@aucmed.edu to make an appointment. This initiative, the breast abnormalities survey, begun in 2017, to identify breast abnormalities, that can be risk factors for diseases, of the breast as early as possible and to refer for further diagnosis and treatment.  The target group is women 18 years and older and approximately 400 women have already participated in this project prior to the COVID 19 pandemic.  The goal is to screen 1000 women to complete the project.

The screening entails a free clinical breast examination performed by a board-certified AUC physician, Dr. Chobanyan, and a health screening which includes checking the participants, height, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol, waist circumference, BMI and vision.  Participants will also be educated about breast cancer and risk factors for this disease. The Positive and Elektralyets Foundations encourage women, who are 18 years and older, who have not participated in past AUC breast screenings to participate.

Education

Education initiatives during October 2022 included breast cancer awareness presentations to the staff of NAGICO and students at the Sister Borgia School.  

On October 5th at 7pm the Women’s League of the Philipsburg Methodist Church will a breast cancer information session at the Philipsburg Methodist Church.  An Invitation is extended to public to participate and engage in an interactive discussion on reducing your risks for breast cancer which will be presented by Dr. Chobanyan and Taylor Newsome of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC).

The U2 Can Move will host its annual Sip and Chat on October 8th at 6pm at the John Larmonie Center. During this event there will be several guest speakers including Dr. Chobanyan a certified oncologist on St. Maarten and a professor of clinical medicine at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC).  Everyone is encouraged to attend. 

These events are free, and everyone is invited to attend. The foundations along with support from AUC believes that the presentation the “Risk Factors of Breast Cancer” was very important and should not be missed. The foundations will also distribute, for free, breast cancer education literature. 

Fundraising

The foundations kick-off event, the Pink Sunset Sail, on Saturday October 1, 2022. Each year this event, now in its 7th year, is organized by Aqua Mania Adventures and along with sponsors raised funds through ticket sales and raffles. In 2021 proceeds amounting to US$4K was raised to continue the foundations quest to boost Breast Cancer Awareness on the island of St. Maarten for research, screenings, awareness activities, projects, and education. The 2nd annual Full Moon Paddle hosted by Trisport on October 9, and Clink for Pink hosted by the Amsterdam Cheese Shop on October 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd are all fundraisers and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the foundations.   Schools like Montessori, Caribbean International Academy (CIA) and St. Maarten Academy PSVE and Sister Borgia are also raising funds and will contribute to the cause. 

Fitness

In the fight against cancer, physical activity is an important way in which we can reduce our risk for developing cancer. Therefore, the foundations always ensure that physical activity is included in its month-long campaigns. This year the Pink and Blue “Ya Gotta Get Checked Fitness on the beach will be held on October 2, 2022, at 5.30am on the Great Bay beach on the boardwalk around the Castaway Beach Bar, in collaboration with NAGICO, Monster Factory. Participants will experience a warmup exercise followed by a circuit of 10 training stations geared towards all fitness levels and abilities. Participants will be treated to a free t-shirt, promotional items for NAGICO, refreshments from ILTT and water, and apples and oranges. This is a free event. 

October 29, 2022, at 5am is the CIBC First Caribbean Move for the Cure, this event is a walk, dance an yoga marathon. The proceeds for this event will benefit the Nurses. Participants can register and collect shirts and bands at any CIBC First Caribbean Branch. 

The month-long breast cancer awareness campaign would not be complete if we did not pay tribute to and encouraged our warriors not to give up the fight, survivors and those who understand the importance of staying in tune with their health, the importance of getting checked and those who have lost fight.

Awareness and Celebratory  

Together with partners like Kooyman, the Colebay Methodist Church and Caribbean Eagles Bike Club, warriors, survivors, those who are currently engaged in the fight and those who have lost the fight were celebrated, encouraged, supported, and remembered. Kooyman will be hosting its annual Paint it pink event on October 22, 2022.  The Caribbean Eagles bikers for boobs rally is on October 16, 2022, and the Colebay Methodist Church will host its celebratory cancer awareness service on October 30, 2022. 

Additionally, we hoist two “Get Checked” flags at two strategic locations – the Courthouse on Frontstreet, and Lexwell’s Attorneys at Law Office at Harbor View in Philipsburg. 

The Positive and Elektralyets Foundations said that “Many of us may have overlooked getting our annual physical because of the challenges associated with the pandemic, while some of us may have questioned why you should see your doctor for an annual physical exam, if you are feeling generally healthy. One good reason is checking in with your primary care physician can confirm that you have no underlying health risks that need attention. Or an exam may lead to an early-stage diagnosis of some kind, which means you could receive treatment sooner with better outcomes”.

The Positive and Elektralyets Foundation is calling our entire community to action to “GET CHECKED!” as breast cancer does not discriminate, and it could affect the ones we hold dear to our hearts. Help us help our community and let us be proactive in the fight against Breast Cancer and stand together as one to help save lives!

The breast cancer awareness movement launched in 1998 by the Positive Foundation has collaborated with the Elektralyets Foundation for over 10 years in the fight to save lives with its early detection messaging.

For more information regarding Breast Cancer Awareness events please check our Facebook pages – Positive Foundation or Elektra Voltage or contact: 

Shelly Alphonso Cellphone: +17215809658

Email: shelly.alphoso@outlook.com

Mercedes”Elektra” van der Waals-Wyatt Cellphone: +17215237418

Email: Elektravoltage@hotmail.com