The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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.

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