Mon | Mar 30, 2020

VM Group raises breast cancer awareness in the workplace

Published:Friday | November 1, 2019 | 12:10 AM
Allison Morgan (right), Manager, Victoria Mutual Building Society Half-Way Tree Branch, chats with Clover Moore (left) , Assistant Vice President, Group Corporate Affairs and Communications, Victoria Mutual Group and Stacey Hines, motivational speaker and breast cancer survivor, at a special breast cancer forum hosted by the VM Group on Wednesday October 23, 2019, at the VM Group’s Half-Way Tree, St Andrew location.
Allison Morgan (right), Manager, Victoria Mutual Building Society Half-Way Tree Branch, chats with Clover Moore (left) , Assistant Vice President, Group Corporate Affairs and Communications, Victoria Mutual Group and Stacey Hines, motivational speaker and breast cancer survivor, at a special breast cancer forum hosted by the VM Group on Wednesday October 23, 2019, at the VM Group’s Half-Way Tree, St Andrew location.

The Victoria Mutual Group, as part of an initiative to promote breast cancer awareness, recently held an interactive and informative session for its employees, encouraging them to participate in early detection and reduce the potential risks commonly associated with the illness.

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed across the world to increase attention to and support for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is rated by the World Cancer Research Fund International as the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall.

As prevalent as breast cancer is, the survival rate for patients is much higher when it is diagnosed early. Clover Moore, assistant vice-president corporate affairs and communication, Victoria Mutual Group, said that with females accounting for close to 70 per cent of employees at the Victoria Mutual Group, many were within the age range commonly associated with the illness.

“This session brought real issues to life. We lost a team member recently to breast cancer, and there are other employees within the organisation who are fighting the illness, and there are those that have also survived it. It is very close to home for us, therefore, it is important that all our team members, male and female, are educated about breast cancer,” Moore said.

SHARING EXPERIENCES

The session saw two teammembers sharing their experiences after being diagnosed with the illness, including their reaction after being diagnosed, to the challenging road they faced to recovery.

“We didn’t want to have the regular session about breast cancer awareness. We wanted something that would be more meaningful and impactful to our team members. For us in human resources, it is not just about work, it is about the total person. The message here is that cancer is not the end of it all,” said Theodore Williams, human resource officer, Victoria Mutual Group.

Stacey Hines, breast cancer survivor, shared with team members her journey with breast cancer that changed her life in 2010.

Hines was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer at the age of 34. “I have no regrets at all in that battleground experience – I became my brand. I would not be the woman I am today if I had not gone through that,” she said.

She encouraged her team members to take full responsibility for their health. “It’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves before illness. We need to look at what we are putting in our body and for the signs in our body that are out of the natural rhythm of our body,” Hines said.