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Golf tourney to bring in big bucks for cancer

Published:Friday | March 25, 2011 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Cancer Society is in high gear with the planning of its annual golf tournament, which is expected to turn over hefty sums for the organisation.

Speaking at the launch of the event on Wednesday at the Altamont Court Hotel, New Kingston, tournament chairman Wayne Wray said the target is to raise about $1 million to assist in carrying out the work of highlighting cancer-prevention tips and to assist persons who have been affected by cancer.

The event, which will be held at the Constant Spring Golf Club on April 2, is being held with the support of a number of corporate entities and will see some top golfers participating and vying for various prizes.

Carol Blair, executive director of the Jamaica Cancer Society, said, "I am amazed at the level of sponsorship that we have got for this event. It is truly a blessing.

"We have been hit drastically last year because of the economy and the decline in corporate and membership sponsorships. But this has been very encouraging and we are hoping that this is an indication that things will improve."

Fewer persons getting tested

She said that fewer persons are showing up at the Jamaica Cancer Society to get tested for the illness, which is cause for concern.

Blair added that the decline in the number of visitors is as a result of persons being unable to find the funds to carry out the necessary checks which could save their lives.

"Where we had 20,000 persons in 2009, this year we are looking at 18,000 persons coming to our clinic for screening. The economy seemed to have played a role in this, where persons do not really have the funds," she told The Gleaner.

"We are hoping that persons will understand that their health is their wealth and put aside the frivolous things they would normally do and save their money to take care of their health because screening is important," she said.

Blair said despite fewer persons checking their status, there was an increase in the number of persons diagnosed with the illness at the society.

She encouraged persons to take responsibility of their health as the critical illness continues to be on the increase.

"Know what is right for your body. It is always important to exercise, stay away from smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. The most important thing in order for us to detect cancer and to be able to deal with it before it becomes a serious problem, you have to get yourself tested regularly," she said.