09 Oct 2016 13:30pm
By Francois Lottering
WINDHOEK, 09 OCT (NAMPA) The minute of silence in honour of those who lost the battle or are still fighting cancer was not totally silent as the occasional sob could be heard in the hall.
Many of the 800 women and few men, who attended the 11th Hats and Roses Womens Breakfast in support of women fighting cancer, lost a loved one to the disease or is currently battling it.
The gathering, organised by the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), took place on 01 October 2016 under the theme The Woman in the Mirror in efforts to raise awareness about cancer.
It is in honour of this fight that October has been dubbed Breast Cancer Awareness Month by various international organisations and aptly named Pink Month.
Sympathisers have also been urged to wear something pink on the last Friday of this month in support of those who suffer from cancer or who have passed away because of the disease.
One of the highlights of this years breakfast was the motivational speech by First Lady Monica Geingos.
In her pre-recorded message due to other commitments, Geingos urged all Namibians to get screened for cancer, as prevention is better than cure.
She said she is cognisant and understands the seriousness of the battle, noting the importance of talking about the disease.
I call on you to encourage each other, support each other, love each other and cry together as cancer is a journey, said Geingos.
Also speaking at the event, local businesswoman Afra Shimming-Chase said more than 4 000 cases of cancer were recorded over the past four years. These include 1 400 cases of breast cancer, 946 cases of cervical cancer and 178 cases of ovarian cancer.
This could be your mother, sister or even wife that might have been diagnosed, she said.
Chris Chameleon - a musician from South Africa, - applauded women saying, We all are born from a woman and must understand love, respect and value their roles in our communities.
CAN Chief Executive Officer Rolf Hansen said all campaigns embraced by the association are about creating awareness.
The fight against cancer is not mine or yours, it is ours, he said, adding that every small awareness campaign can make a difference in the life of another.
You are the future of this nation; if you do not look after yourselves, who will? Hansen asked.
As part of CANs objectives to assist people affected by cancer, it joined hands with Spar Namibia to launch the Power Punch for Pink T-shirt that is on sale at participating Spar grocers across the country.