BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, October 28, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Sections of Basseterre were a sea of pink on Saturday October 26 as over 1,700 persons, among them Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, took part in this year’s Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation’s Pink Walk.
So enthused were the participants that long before the start many had already assembled at the parking lots outside Caribbean Cinemas where the walk was to start and were received by officials who registered and gave them numbered bibs. The first person to be registered for this year’s Pink Walk was Ms Angela ‘Tallet’ Lewis.
A Pink Walk participant now for five years, Ms Lewis said she had left home at about 4:45 am and was therefore able to get the chance to be the first to register, and was given the bib with number 1 printed on it. She said she supports the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation as it has helped many persons.
“The walk is a good gesture which lets you know that there are people out there who care,” said Ms Lewis. “Cancer has no friends, and it could be anybody getting cancer. It is best to know there is a supportive group, and you should come on out and become part of it because you never know when it is going to hit your family or a close friend.”
The participants wore a pink t-shirt which also carried the walk’s theme, ‘Walk for the cause – Race for life’. Shortly after 6:00 am, just before the walk started, fitness guru Mr Elston Nisbett took them through a series of warm-up exercises to prepare them for the walk to the Frigate Bay lawns.
They set off at about 6:15 am walking westwards on the Island Main Road, and at the roundabout joined the FT Williams Highway which took them to the airport roundabout where they joined the Kim Collins Highway, and at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank roundabout they took the Frigate Bay Road, ending at the Frigate Bay lawns.
According to Dr Marcus Natta, Public Relations Officer of the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, the foundation was established in July 2009, and is this year commemorating its tenth anniversary under the theme, ‘A decade of helping to save lives’.
“Each year, the last Saturday in October we hold our annual ‘Pink Walk’ and this year we are proud to say that we have had over 1,700 persons participating in the walk,” said Dr Natta. “Our first walk, held in 2009, we had just about 450 persons. So we have been growing very nicely over the last decade, and we really have seen a tremendous outpouring not only from the general public but from our corporate partners as well, in particular the Insurance Company of the West Indies.”
While the foundation is focused on breast cancer, it does not turn away anyone who has a request for other types of cancer, be it oral cancer, lung cancer, or even prostate cancer. All have been assisted, and according to Dr Natta, last year the foundation gave over EC$22,000 in financial assistance, not only for treatment but also to assist with airfare, and to assist with hotel accommodation when persons go overseas for treatment.
He further noted that the Essence of Hope Cancer Foundation had seen an increase in requests for assistance, and also sadly seen more prevalence in terms of the incidence of breast cancer and other types of cancer occurring.
“Essence of Hope we are pushing forward ever more, ever stronger, to educate persons about breast cancer especially ladies,” said Dr Natta. “We educate them about getting mammograms, which our foundation offers free of cost to anyone who would like to get a mammogram and we stress early detection, we stress self-breast exams, and we stress also healthy living and a good healthy nutrition.”