President of the Health Education Relief Organization for Cancer, (H.E.R.O.C) Lorna Welshman-Neblett, said, her organization is recommending that cancer patients put their safety first, during the coronavirus pandemic, since their immune systems could be compromised easily.
The Guyanese-American, who has led the group since October 2016, and carry out medical missions to Guyana annually, is advising patients to avoid crowded areas and wash their hands thoroughly, in addition to taking vitamin C boosters.
As a female president, who was nominated for Cambridge Academy Alumni International Association, Inc. Robert A. Pinkerton Humanitarian Award to be received at their Biennial Gala in July 18, 2020, Neblett continues to inspire all women to stay healthy in many ways, and especially, during this time of uncertainty. She is not only issuing stern advice to keep women safe, she is adamant that early screening and detection saves lives.
Neblett took up the mantle to educate women on the deadly cancer disease, after an organization she was previously a member of became defunct. Along with other members inspired to continue the fight for those afflicted, they formed H.E.R.O.C. that advises against home visits during the corona virus pandemic.
“Home visits are not recommended, but phone calls could be made instead. As an organization, we have checked in with conference calls for decision-making and will continue to share information where necessary. We do have a Whatsapp group line for immediate action,” added the humanitarian.
She said the hardest decision the group has had to make was to postpone its April 18 annual Tea Party due to the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak.
“This has saddened all of our members, as this is our signature event of the year, and one that every supporter looks forward to.
“We have not fully partnered with a particular organization to date in the US, however, we do have two doctors from Health Education Relief Organization (HERO) with whom we stay in contact for advice for our patients when needed.
“We are presently working on partnering with the Organization for Stewartville Affairs, (US) for a joint venture in Guyana later this year if all goes well and COVID19 disappears,” she said, adding that the group, work hand in hand with a sister organization in Guyana, The Giving Hope Foundation headed by Oncologist, Dr. Latoya Gooding. “All of our Missions are a joint effort for the two groups.”
“I would like to tell all women to pay strict attention to their bodies. Any signs you see get to your doctor. They may not all be cancer, but it is better to get checked. We continue to tell them that early detection saves lives and together we can give cancer the boot,” said Gooding.
Neblett said H.E.R.O.C, had experienced tremendous growth in the medical missions to Guyana, and the group had been proactive in educating cancer patients on their wellbeing, nutrition, hygiene and most importantly, have motivated them to keep their bodies healthy, while enjoying what life had to offer.
The group works diligently to raise funds through an Annual Tea Party, Summer Fun Bingo, and Guyanese Style Holiday Breakfast. During these cheerful events, Survivors and/or, Thrives, are acknowledged for their determination to fight the dreadful illness.
Additionally, the group joins with the American Cancer Society for the annual Strides for Breast Cancer Walk, and contributes to the cause.
“Our goals for the next three to five years are very important. For our fifth mission to Guyana, we are planning a gala where the funds will be contributed for pap smear testing and prostate checks, by The Giving Hope Foundation.”
“We continue to source prosthetics for women who have had mastectomy. We welcome donations,” said Neblett adding, that despite the organization’s non-profit status, financing has been the only barrier it encounters, and depends on fundraising to carry on its work.
The compassionate leader, who has received numerous accolades for her work, continues to encourage survivors to stay healthy and have made sure, they are honored at various events, where they get to tell their stories and motivate others.
The organization is always in need of patient care supplies, such as medical equipment, and prosthetics, and would willingly pick up these items and have them stored for shipment to Guyana for the annual October mission.
To learn more or make a donation, go to HEROC.ORG. Donations are tax-deductible, and could be made via the website.