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Guyana Cancer Foundation launched to help reintegrate survivors

by Abigail Semple

The Guyana Cancer (GCF) Foundation was launched on Thursday at the Marriott Hotel, Guyana with the aim of preventing the dreaded disease and reintegrating survivors into society.

The GCF was registered in June 1, 2016, after several years of conducting cancer awareness programmes through the then Avon Community Help Fund (ACHF). At the time, it was under management of Mignon Bowen-Phillips and Ann Singh of Beauty and Home Innovations Inc.

The launch was hosted by GCF visionary Bibi Hassan, who was entrusted to carry on the work of the ACHF.

It has long been Hassan’s dream to help low-income persons diagnosed with cancer, those overcoming the disease, and survivors. In her remarks at the function, Hassan said one of the Foundation’s missions is to help reintegrate Cancer survivors into society. She referred to two friends of hers who have fought and beat the disease but who were reluctant to face society, claiming they felt like AIDS victims.

“I always say that one day I want to do this. I want to reintegrate cancer survivors back into society. And for that reason I’ve teamed up with my friend’s daughter, she is a cancer survivor, my mom who is a honorary member. She is an eight years cancer survivor…,” said Hassan.

Hassan said it is the GCF’s wish to encourage persons like these to be bold enough to re-enter society. While being the Foundation’s vision, the reintegration of Cancer survivors is to become the beacon of stopping cancer before it starts. This will be done through educational activities, made possible through the support of the cooperate community, more specifically stakeholders, organizations and businesses. Over the years, Breast Cancer awareness sessions were conducted, particularly on how to perform self-examination in the comfort of the home environment.

So far, her organisation has facilitated the screening of 61 women for breast cancer, with two showing positive.

Additionally, there have been Breast Cancer walks, and the Foundation has distributed T-shirts for the President’s Youth Award. Among the sponsors of the Foundation are GBTI, N&S Mattai, King’s Jewellery World, Medicare Pharmacy, Shopper’s Pharmacy, Kissoons Ltd., and Golden Fleece Rice Ltd. Through the sponsorship of N&S Mattai, the Foundation continues to provide free access to screening for high risk women. Ativities scheduled by the GCF for October’s Cancer Awareness month include Tree Wrapping (October 3), Church Service (October 9), Wear Pink Friday (October 21), and a Cancer Fitness Walk (October 22).