Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Keeping abreast - Love and breast cancer

Published:Monday | October 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie
Michael Fraser, vice-chairman of the Jamaica Cancer Society, shows off his pink socks at yesterday's Keeping Abreast Luncheon.
Breast cancer survivor for 33 years, Denise Mullings, (left) and good friend Jeanie Bell were delighted to be a part of the festivities.

On Thursday, August 26, the Jamaica Cancer Society and Jamaica Reach to Recovery held their annual Keeping Abreast Luncheon at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. The theme for this year's event was love and breast cancer. Members from many of Jamaica's corporate companies were in attendance and in full support of bringing more awareness and funding towards the cause. The luncheon honoured all the women who have survived the disease, and singled out three couples who shared their cancer journey.

"This is one of the main fundraising activities. The Keeping Abreast Luncheon is in celebration of cancer survivors who have kept a breast and are keeping abreast of what is happening within the Breast Cancer movement," said acting superintendent of Spanish Town Circuit and Minister in the St Thomas Circuit Reverend Bosworth Mullings. He then went on to explain that majority of Jamaican women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer was done so by the Jamaica Cancer Society, and applauded the work of the institution. Being a cancer survivor himself, Reverend Mullings emphasised how imperative the cancer society is to the health and well being of the Jamaican people.

During the luncheon, The Dennis Rushton Duet kept the crowd rocking in their seats as they performed a tribute to the breast cancer survivors. Selections ranged from gospel to nostalgic folk songs and contemporary '70s songs.

Moderator Imani Duncan-Price, chief of staff, Leader of the Opposition, A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and former senator, encouraged the couples on the panel to explain how their love and faith helped them to overcome the battle of cancer together. Their captivating stories filled the audience with mirth and hope as they described their individual struggles with explicit detail. One panellist explained that it was her husband who found the lump within her breast and how grateful she was to have him in her life.

"We thank all the companies for being a part of this and making this possible. This year, as the popular Jamaican saying goes, "did tun up"," said Chairman of the Jamaica Reach to Recovery, Carolind Graham. The funds garnered from this event will go to the purchasing of new mammograms, which will increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment.

With breast cancer being the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Jamaican women, the panel demonstrated the unity and support that is needed from both family and friends to conquer breast cancer.