Let's keep abreast of breast cancer
Opposition spokesman on Education Ronald Thwaites showed his support for his fellow breast cancer survivors at the annual Jamaica Cancer Society and Jamaica Reach to Recovery's Keeping Abreast luncheon.
Held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel last Thursday, the Montego Suite was filled with survivors and supporters. The charismatic Dorraine Samuels-Binger was the master of ceremonies, and she kept the event in order and on time.
Executive director of the Jamaica Cancer Society, Yulit Gordon, gave greetings on behalf of the organisation and highlighted their duties and the importance of early screening - a service that they provide. She added that there is still a lot to be done in trying to find a cure for a disease that affects so many women.
Chairman of the Jamaica Reach to Recovery, Carolind Graham, shared similar sentiments. This society is geared towards helping individuals and their family cope with the disease. Their support group meetings are so popular that two men diagnosed with prostate cancer showed up thinking that it was a general cancer support group meeting. The warmth in which they were received has given the men the idea of starting their own support group.
During lunch, the audience were thoroughly entertained by the musical stylings of The Dennis Rushton Quartet, before guest speaker Ronald Thwaites took to the stage.
He revealed his more vulnerable side, as he gave a brief synopsis of how the lump was discovered in 1975 by his wife during one of her thorough examinations. She insisted that he see a doctor and after doing a biopsy, he was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Thwaites admitted that he wears the badge of a survivor with much pride. He reminded men that they too should have a vested interest in the disease, not only because they too are
vulnerable, but because it can affect their loved ones. He noted that that is why groups like the Jamaica Cancer Society and Jamaica Reach to Recovery are so important, as they provide such great support to these victims.
After his speech, Thwaites and fellow survivors received a pink rose while being serenaded by The Dennis Rushton Quartet. All guests left with a little 'Arm candy' bracelet, courtesy of Sagicor.