Everyone has been touched in some way by breast cancer. And recoiled from the touch. No family should lose a mother prematurely. Or a dear friend, sister, wife, daughter, co-worker. No one of us, just diagnosed, should have to look at the mirror in the morning and say: Will I survive? Everyone deserves a lifetime: We feel it deep in our bones.
This year I have been especially challenged to do something out of my comfort zone to raise awareness about issues, and I raised some money here and there, but this 60 Mile walk? Well, that is a new story altogether. Can you imagine three days where you walk 60 miles. At least I have until October 17-19, 2008 which is when the Philadelphia walk will be held. 178 days from now, I will walk with survivors, family and friends in solidarity against breast cancer.
The Kenya Breast Health Programme ran a free breast health check program where they got women from all over the city to come for free clinics. The reason for that kind of mass screening is that in Kenya, breast cancer incidence is increasing and those affected are relatively younger compared to those in developed countries.
According to the Nairobi Cancer Report, between the year 2000 and 2002 breast cancer was the most diagnosed cancer among women in Nairobi and 51% of these women were below the age of 50 years. Although incidences are low when compared to the developed countries, breast cancer mortality in Kenya is relatively high.
An estimated 80% – 90% of the breast cancer patients present with stage 3 and 4 disease. To many Kenyan women, a diagnosis of breast cancer is therefore a death sentence as most patients present with advanced disease when the cost of treatment is high and chances of survival limited. This then reinforces the mistaken belief that breast cancer is incurable.
However, breast cancer research gets a great boost from the 3-Day Walk, an event of 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men. The net proceeds will support breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment through Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.
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