AWARE­NESS WALK ADDS A NEW CAUSE

CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­press.co.za

For the first time in its 12-year his­tory, the an­nual Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon breast can­cer aware­ness walk will be ded­i­cated to erad­i­cat­ing women and child abuse. This was an­nounced at the of­fi­cial launch held at Inanda Club in Sand­ton.

Lead­ing up to the main event, there will be an­other new ad­di­tion this year: Pink Fri­days, for which par­tic­i­pants will be decked out in pink.

The main aim of the Avon Justine iThemba Cru­sade of Hope pro­gramme is to spread the mes­sage that the early de­tec­tion of breast can­cer saves lives, so that women know the im­por­tance of breast health and having their an­nual mam­mo­grams as well as do­ing their monthly breast self-ex­am­i­na­tions.

Ac­tress Tina Jaxa, who was host­ing the event, told City Press that she was ex­cited to be part of this ini­tia­tive be­cause it had en­cour­aged her to have an­nual mam­mo­grams.

Breast can­cer hit close to home for Jaxa a few years ago, al­though she wasn’t ready to di­vulge more. “My fam­ily and I are still deal­ing with this and once I am ready I will talk about it,” said an emo­tional Jaxa.

“Now I can have a di­a­logue with fam­ily and friends. We also em­power our­selves with knowl­edge and the more we have di­a­logues the more lives we can save.”

Also spot­ted at the me­dia launch was TV pre­sen­ter Penny Le­byane and model Tsakane Mang­wane. The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Peo­ple Op­pos­ing Women Abuse (Powa), Nh­lanhla Mok­wena, said vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren is ev­ery­body’s busi­ness.

The hope is that ded­i­cat­ing the event this year to the scourge of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren will spread that mes­sage – that the solution lies with every­one.

“Par­tic­i­pants have the op­por­tu­nity to #WalkForAPur­pose and make their steps count by par­tic­i­pat­ing ... It is es­ti­mated that with early de­tec­tion, over 30% of deaths due to breast can­cer can be pre­vented, and an event such as the iThemba Walkathon is a great way to spread the mes­sage that early de­tec­tion re­ally does save lives,” said Avon Justine com­mu­ni­ca­tions and events man­ager Vicky Saun­ders-Fla­herty.

The Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon will be held on October 22 at Marks Park in Jo­han­nes­burg and 35 000 peo­ple are ex­pected to take part.

PHOTO: PHELOKAZI MBUDE

SUP­PORT­ING THE CAUSE Ac­tress Tina Jaxa, TV pre­sen­ter Penny Le­byane, model Tsakane Mang­wane and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Powa Nh­lanhla Mok­wena

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