The warm weather and a carnival style atmosphere of steelpan music, Tassa drumming and stilt dancers in Prospect Park last Sunday, brought together tens of thousands of survivors and supporters of breast cancer awareness, at the Annual American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk.
Poignant stores were heard from among the sea of devotees many wearing pink, and carrying banners and images of those, dear to them that have become ill with the dreaded disease.
This is the third year that members of the Organization for Social Health and Advancement for Guyana and the Caribbean (OSHAG/C) has joined forces with the American Cancer Society, and raised top dollars for the alliance and for OSHAG’S 10th Annual mission to Guyana next month.
From a total of $1, 425 raised last Sunday, $625.00 was presented to American Cancer Society, and $800.00 will go towards the medical mission in Guyana, -$500.00 along for medications to aid many patients who live in the village of Buxton on the East Coast of Demerara, where doctors will hold clinics.
Fierce community advocate, and president of the Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Patricia Jordon-Langford, said she has joined the ranks of survivors after receiving a positive diagnosed of breast cancer just two months. She said teamed-up joined OSHAG/C in their fight to raise awareness and to lend her support to others who may be suffering in silence.
“I want to emphasize the importance of early detection through screening, mammograms and follow-up treatment, said Langford-Jordan who because of persistence and annual screening discovered that she too had developed the disease.
Still in treatment, the candid Guyanese-American still finds the time to visit others in hospital because she is adamant that it is important to get the word out about the disease.
“OSHAG/C has been instrumental in providing support for other Guyanese and have helped many others like me, who reached out to the organization for information and medical help.
“I represent life and I want to say to all the other people that are going through what I am going through, to have hope. Those who are well should stand up and support those who may not be well.
Jordon-Langford plans to take up the offer from the American Cancer Society to lecture on the topic of screening, as she continues with her treatment, regular checkups and living well lifestyle.
Jean Reed, another Guyanese, expressed how happy she was to be a part of the OSHAG/C group, stating that after experiencing weeks of discomfort, and being misdiagnosed, she changed her gynecologist and found out that she was suffering from Uterine Cancer.
Today, thanks to regular pap-smear screening and follow-up, Reed is cancer-free. The 56-year old also credits her positive attitude and the strong support of her family, mainly her son who has completed both a marathon and a walk to support her in her fight to stay cancer-free.
President, Lorna Welshman-Neblett and Vice President, Harold Lutchman, both thanked the more that twenty supporters who participated in the walk, and praised the medical mission team to Guyana that will include Dr. Theophilus Lewis and Dr. Bernard Saunders.
Latchman, who has been VP for the last two years, and a member of OSHAG/C for ten, also called on citizens to be vigilant about regular screenings in the fight against the disease.
Chairman of OSHAG/C Carol Bagot, will lead the team that will conduct educational workshops and clinics to treat all forms of cancer and diabetes. Surgeries will also be performed.