Because this is Think Pink month and women’s health matters, Syrians have been working on making this month and every day a chance to support women with cancer and to spread awareness about the importance of an early check-up to increase the possibility of successful treatment. One result has been the “You Can Defeat Cancer” marathon.
The Invitation For The Marathon
Days before the event, Individuals and representatives of organisations and sports teams along with associations, had been making videos inviting people to come and take part in supporting the marathon.
The response of people in different cities was spectacular . People gathered together, wearing white and pink shirt, making Syrian cities glow with high spirits and support for “woman”, “The essence of life."
Syrian Cities Respond to the Invitation with Enthusiasm
Latakia, Homs, Aleppo, Damascus and Sweida started a marathon called, "You Can Defeat Cancer" all at the same time in the morning of October 18th to support women and assure the importance of their health. "We wanted to have a crowd in order to shed light on the idea of supporting women and making them stronger facing cancer. What is important is to spread awareness in society and make people aware of the need for an early check-up," said Eskandar, one of the event organisers from DERD, Department of Ecumenical Relations And Development, in Latakia.
DERD invited other organisations in Latakia to help organise the event and to invite their members to take part in that campaign and so they did with full cooperation. The Syrian Trust, JCI (Junior Chamber International), Scouts of Syria, Breast Cancer Enthusiasm, the Syrian Breast Cancer Society and other associations, including choirs, all took part The choirs sang in the event in Latakia. while the Syrian Trust organised the events in Aleppo and Sweida, the Al-Jalaa Sporting Club in Damascus and the Islamic Charitable Society in Homs.
Different organisations took part in organising and participating in this huge event in many cities to tell women that they CAN defeat cancer. The Marathon had two main types of participants One is the runners and at the end of the marathon three winners, both men and women, were honoured. The other participants are the crowds who supported the campaign and in Latakia alone the number reached about 2,500.
Do the check-up now for safer results
Mobile Clinics were set up by the Directorate of Heath so that women in the marathon could have an instant breast check-up and to encourage them take that step to care for their health and not to be afraid of cancer because as the Marathon says, "You Can Defeat Cancer."
In Aleppo, The Marathon took place around Aleppo Castle and the number of spectators and participants was also large. About 30 agencies and organisations responded to the invitation, including companies, banks, charitable organisations and associations.
"This Marathon is a great raiser of awareness for women who are afraid of cancer, Cancer is just a situation and with early diagnosis it can be defeated. In the past, people used to be afraid of it and avoided talking about it. But now we have to speak up, do check-ups and defeat cancer," said Nadeem a JCI (Junior Chamber International) Aleppo member.
The event organisation was successful and the scene of the crowds that gathered for one honourable and human cause has been heart-warming. Fadwa, a participant in Homs, said, “I have always been afraid to have a check-up because cancer is frightening for me and now I am about to reach 61 and I am here to support women and encourage them to go for a regular check-up." Fadwa took part in the Marathon with the Mar Mansour Association in Homs.
This Marathon has been one of many attempts in Pink Month October to tell women that they matter and the check-up is for free the whole month, with sessions on self examination along with messages from doctors who shed light on other breast illnesses to educate woman about their body and encourage them be healthy.
Such events reflect care, cooperation and support, all with love to show that we can defeat difficulties together.