The Well Woman Clinic’s much anticipated sponsored Walk For Life in support of efforts to prevent and treat breast and other common cancers, took place from 8am till noon on Saturday 22nd October 2016. The distance covered was from Quincy’s to the Golf Club. Exhausted, but happy that they had taken part in such a worthwhile endeavour, most participants then headed home for their traditional Saturday ‘plassas’.
It was most gratifying to see Ministers of State, heads of diplomatic corps and international agencies mingling so easily with the other Walkers. The following quotation is typical of the feedback received: “As we approached Lumley Beach, we enjoyed the cool sea breezes away from the traffic congestion and pollution in Freetown’s city centre. The electric atmosphere at the Golf Club could best be described as a party in the park with so many people from all walks of life, both young and old. We had funwalking for a good cause. Well done organizers. We look forward to next year’s event”.
About 550 pre-registered, and 150 onsite registered Walkers took part on the day. The Walk started after late registration and a 10-15 minute pre-walk exercise session. Unfortunately, the sound system hired to accompany the Walkers soon packed up which meant that participants had to proceed without music. However, undeterred, they walked in groups, chatting and, from time to time, breaking into the theme song, ‘Early detection saves lives’. Some Walkers were strong enough to run to the finish line; the first 3 received prizes from the MEPS Programme Director and Trustee, Mrs .Jennifer Renner-Thomas. Sarah Bona came first, Dominique Hope, second and Beran Forster, third -all three, strong supporters of the Well Woman Clinic.
Though some participants simply wanted to have fun with their friends and colleagues, most paid rapt attention to a demonstration on the early detection of breast cancer. Unfortunately, an expected talk on prostate cancer had to be postponed. However, Mr Abu Bangura, managing director of Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) took the microphone to suggest that a similar awareness activity be organized specifically for prostate cancer and the problems associated with “beer belly” (big belleh) in men.
Cancer is no respecter of persons and most of us have been affected by this terrible disease either as survivors, carers, or relations of sufferers. Whereas in the developed world, and in some developing countries, basic treatment packages include chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in Sierra Leone current treatment is limited to surgery and the drug, tamoxifen. Detecting breast cancers earlier, will help improve the survival rates, therefore generous donations towards purchasing a mammogram machine for the Well Woman Clinic will be highly appreciated. Working TOGETHER, we can beat this dreadful scourge
We thank all who made this year’s Walk for Life such a success and hope that the prevention message so well received on Saturday 22nd October 2016 will be passed on to family members, colleagues, neighbours and friends.