Light up the Night; join the breast cancer fight

Seven Mile Beach is a great location for so many exciting and enchanting endeavours. Whether swimming in the beautiful blue waters, sitting on the powdered sands sipping your favourite cocktail, or trying something on the wilder side, such as parasailing, Cayman’s premier beach location is perfect for self-indulgent fun, relaxation, and romance. However, sometimes the greatest pleasures can lie not in solipsistic thoughts and enterprises, but in doing something for others.

So, the night of Saturday, March 7 sees the perfect opportunity to give back, be involved in the community, and do something selfless and worthwhile. This is the night Cayman’s Breast Cancer Foundation is holding its annual Light Up the Night breast cancer beach walk. The walk begins and ends at Royal Palms Beach Club, going via The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Registration on the night begins at 6 pm, with the walk scheduled to set-off at 7 pm.

Raising awareness

This opportunity to amble along the seafront under a moonlit sky will help to raise awareness of breast cancer, to support those going through it, salute survivors, and to remember those now departed.

In coming together with the rest of the community, it is your opportunity to show solidarity with those affected by breast cancer.

“This is our 10th year,” says Jannette Fitzgerald, chief administrator of the foundation. “We started with less than 100 walkers, but each year it has grown as our foundation has grown. Last year we had 900 persons signed up. We walk to the light of the moon, most of the condo complexes between Royal Palms and The Ritz-Carlton turn on their beach lights and patrons come out to cheer on our walkers. We are child and pet friendly also; it is a walk not a race and looks very magical!”

You can register beforehand by attending The Breast Cancer Foundation office at 19 Grand Harbour, the fee, payable by cash or cheque, is $25 per person, with under 10’s free. Registration and payment can be done on the night, with a card machine available then. Your registration fee will include a T-shirt, as long as stocks last, and will also gain you entry into a raffle which will take place after the walk. You can download the registration form here.

Supporting patients and survivors

The Breast Cancer Foundation was started in 2008, on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Brenda Tibbetts-Lund, who had a very courageous battle with breast cancer and did much for breast health in the Cayman Islands.

The Foundation was initially created to provide financial support mainly for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, which it still does. In 2015 the Foundation launched its own Wellness Programme. It is to this programme that all proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will go.

The Wellness Programme is a holistic approach to the healing and well-being of breast cancer patients and survivors. It provides free services that complement medical treatments and aims to help all breast cancer patients and survivors in Cayman get through their treatments and once well, to stay as healthy as possible.

The programme covers three stages: initial diagnosis, treatment and post treatment and covers a huge range of services from diet, nutrition, and exercise advice and help, to financial advice, physiotherapy and counselling for the cancer sufferer and their family.

“We also supply free mammogram vouchers for those who are not covered by their insurance,” Jannette says, adding that all services are free. “We run regular support groups including an art therapy group – all this takes place at our BC Centre in Grand Harbour,” she says.

So, whether your life has been touched by breast cancer specifically, or cancer generally; whether it has happened to you, to a family member or friend – you will know what a great battle is to be had, how important it is for the sufferer to be supported, and for no one to feel alone.

If for any reason you can’t make the walk, Jannette has some suggestions as to how you can still help. “You can volunteer or hold your own function to raise funds for us, or have us attend at your company, school, college, sports club, community or church group so that we can bring our awareness programme to those people. Awareness is the key and early detection is vital for survival.”

If you need help with breast cancer, you can call The Breast Cancer Foundation helplines on 923 1135 or 936 1135.