PEOPLE IMPACTED BY CANCER SHOW UP FOR WALK FOR THE CURE 2018
Alittle under 1,000 Saint Lucians turned out for the seventh consecutive Walk For The Cure on Sunday October 7 with family and friends of people living with the disease and of those who have lost the battle with cancer making up a sizeable percentage of walkers.
The annual event took place simultaneously in the island’s north and south. Each walk led off from the bank’s premises, with the northern walk culminating at Pigeon Island, and southern walk ending back at the branch with live entertainment, prizegiving, “socacize” aerobics, testimonials, healthy treats and a theatrical release of balloons.
CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s country manage,r Ladesa JamesWilliams, hailed the walk a success based on a number of indicators: Increase in walker participation, the event’s ability to attract new corporate and community partnerships, and the “clear sense of ownership of the walk” by people affected and impacted by cancer. Something evident this year were articles worn in personal memorial of loved ones like pins or shirts worn by family members, groups from service clubs and corporate entities walking. Some were also walking in solidarity with colleagues in the struggle or in remission.
Mrs. Williams said that a contributing factor to this year’s success was the tangible impact in the form of funding from proceeds of the walk into the work programmes of the Faces of Cancer and the Saint Lucia Cancer Society. She added that the increase in registration points with the recent partnership of Massy Stores has been “a bonus”.
She also noted that the level of support from people directly impacted by cancer highlighted the growing prevalence of cancer and the success to date in removing the shroud of secrecy which surrounded the disease in the past.
“For the north walk, the survivor and family testimonials, and the release of balloons in particular, proved to be very emotional for the many who lost loved ones in recent times. There were a few tears this year”, said Ms. Serbrina Hassell, 2018 Walk for The Cure coordinator. “It is clear that for those impacted, the walk and what it signifies is therapeutic. People don’t just hear that they are not alone, they feel it during those four hours of fellowship,” Ms. Hassell added.
Walk for The Cure was supported this year by Flow, Visa, Tata Consultancy, Going Places Travel, Digicel, BDO, St Lucia International Financial Centre, Dominos Pizza, Johnsons Hardware Ltd, Tenderoni, Automotive Art (St Lucia) Ltd, Brice & Co Ltd, Northwest Limited, LUCELEC, WLBL – Piton Malta and Sandals Resorts.
Fundraising continues at the various branches of the bank until November when the proceeds from the walk will be handed in equal amounts to the Faces of Cancer and Saint Lucia Cancer Society.
Contributions can still be made directly into CIBC FirstCaribbean account # 106995550 or by using the branded donation tins at all bank branches.
Hundreds of cancer patient supporters took to the roads to raise funds for cancer treatment and research.
Participants shared stories of cancer fighters, including that of little Kamar (in the print out) who passed away earlier this year.