Getting cancer can become the beginning of living. The search for one's own being, the discovery of the life one needs to live, can be one of the strongest weapons against disease." Lawrence Leshan
The launch of the Bushells Fiji's Biggest Morning Tea 2012, running in its 7th year now has marked the beginning of another year of the society's calendar of events.
The invitation to today's launch was targeted at getting the leaders in many corporate, and other business organizations to participate and take the responsibility of driving the same in their organisations.
Of course they are the ones who drive change and own them and why not do this for the cancer patients in this country.
The funds raised since has been used by the society towards awareness projects, we are continuing to assist the community where we can
Last year the Society raised $68 391. Initially the society launched the event with a hope to raise funds to build a cancer hospice in Fiji. However after undertaking a full cost analysis and feasibility of building the hospice and its ongoing sustainability the society with Min of Health agreed to terminate the agreement and focus on the society's main role of creating awareness, for early detection and diagnosis thereafter, through referral process to qualified doctors and professionals.
The Fiji Cancer Society (FCS) programs and services are aligned to three major pillars for positive change:
nPromotion of Holistic Well Being
nProvision of Needed Support
nInclusion of Communities in the fight against cancer
In addition to these three pillars for change, FCS commits to being a learning organisation which is focused on organisational change to maintain professional support and services for those that FCS programs are targeting.
There are many initiatives that the FCS with its partners will be delivering in the coming months and that includes assistance for children with cancer, mens cancer awareness programs and working with Ministry of health to provide support to the community.
The cancer society was formed in 1993 by a group of volunteers and has grown by five fold since then and this simply shows how the need has grown We therefore urge organisations to come forward not only with $$$$$ to give, we need you and your staff and family support. More importantly we need more volunteers to go out and talk about early detection and prevention.
We would like to acknowledge our hosts for the launch the Holiday Inn, Mr Della gatta and his team. The Fiji TV has come forward every year to sponsor $3000 worth of free advertising, Thanks again and we look forward to your continued support.
This initiative is a wonderful way to not only raise funds, but also, provide an opportunity to come together and chat about a taboo topic that can be so difficult for people to discuss. To share stories and challenges that they have faced whether directly or indirectly due to cancer and to realize that they are not alone - unfortunately, most people have been affected by some form of cancer directly or through people we love.
With a total of 590 new cases recorded in the October 2011 and showing an obvious increase in cancer deaths our challenge is to reduce these numbers and provide a wider based support, education and awareness.
With have partnered with the various NGOs, like the WOWS group, the Ministry of Health, the Fiji College of General Practitioners, and The Fiji School of medicine and Health Sciences to drive advocacy and awareness.
Our message to you today is that one does not have to die of Cancer. 30% of cancer can be prevented through a healthy life style; 70 per cent of cancer can be cured if detected early.
We have an obligation to ourselves, to our family and our community. Failing to look after our body we will not fulfil our obligations. Something as simple as a yearly check-up and seeking proper medical advice on any symptoms can save your life.
To those in their journey with cancer:
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from according to reknowned psychologist Elisabeth KÃ¼bler-Ross.
Please pass the cup on during the month of July and support the Fiji Cancer Society to help fight the the battle against cancer.
* Nirmala Nambiar is the president of the Fiji Cancer Society