Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Fibroid Awareness Week ends with a bang

Published:Friday | May 27, 2016 | 12:16 AM
Shelly-Ann Weeks is captured by our camera reading the Fibroids Awareness Week supplement in the Gleaner’s Health section at Saturday’s seminar.
Lisa Ann OGilvie, organiser of Fibroid Awareness Week (third left) is surrounded by her pillars of support who all helped to make the week possible. From left: Terry-Ann Wilson, assistant manager, marketing, the Gleaner; Horace Fletcher dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at UWI; Sonya Simmons, press secretary of Lady Allen; Sonia Copeland, director of health promotion and protection at the Ministry of Health; and Charles Rockhead, managing director of Mar-Roc Limited.
Jackie Humes (left) shares lens with friend, Doneath Edwards, at the Fibroid Awareness Week Seminar last Saturday.
Dadrion Anderson (right) is all about supporting women in the fight against fibroids as he stands beside Cheree Cupidon.
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Caribbean Woman hosted the final event of its National Fibroid Awareness Week activities last Saturday at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, Jamaica College, St Andrew.

The Seminar of Hope

The group of persons who came out for the event included men, most of whom attended with female companions. The free public seminar offered attendees the opportunity to ask questions and talk one on one with professionals on the topic.

There were a number of speakers, including Horace Fletcher, dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI); Milton A. Hardie, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist; and Wendel Abel, psychiatrist and professor in the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry at UWI. They all offered women some perspective on what to expect in the event that they are faced with the illness and presented some facts surrounding the condition, including information on some of the side effects.

Shelly-Ann Weeks, who has struggled with the condition, gave the women and their partners some hope by sharing her inspiring story.

Companies and agencies had booths set up at the event, show-casing products and giving information that could help persons dealing with fibroids. Cari-Med, Ocean Spray, the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Ministry of Health, and the Graham Society were among those presenting their offerings.

Men supporting women

Dadrion Anderson, who was there with a female friend, shared with Today his reason for attending.

"I want to have an understanding of what women experience when they are affected by fibroids and to be aware so that I can help support my friend, who is suffering from fibroids."

Ron Page, representing the Ministry of Health, pointed out that he wanted to offer support and share that men are also affected by fibroids. "Health is not just vital to women, but men who can get ill themselves and are needed to provide support and strength to their women," he stated.

The series of events for the week was considered a success as it started a national conversation. Founder of Caribbean Woman and organiser of the campaign, Lisa Ann OGilvie, said she was thankful for the support throughout the week and remain committed to the journey of empowering women.