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Cancer survivors share stories of hope

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Reem BinKaram leads the 2km Pink Caravan Ride.

By A Staff Reporter

Sharjah: Being diagnosed with breast cancer can take a patient’s life into a downward spiral. However, for 52-year-old Nahla Sharif, it gave her a new lease and perspective on life. Since her 2014 cancer treatment journey, she decided to enjoy life and live every moment like there was no tomorrow.

She and other survivors shared their personal stories and cancer treatment journeys while taking part in Day 3 of the ninth edition of Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) in Dubai Design District(D3) yesterday (Monday), which is currently travelling across the seven emirates raising awareness on the importance of early detection and offering free-screening to all members of society across the seven emirates.

“I realized that for once, I should enjoy life, and not worry about daily burdens and all that might bring me down or keep me occupied in trivial annoying matters. During my treatment journey, I started going out more, venture and explore my surroundings, and live life to the fullest,” said Nahla.

To date, she undergoes a chemo therapy on a weekly basis and find solace and fun through the bounds of friendship she forged through her affiliation with Friends of Cancer Patients, organizers of PCR.

“Life does not end with cancer diagnosis. For me, it was the beginning of a new chapter of hope, fun, and enjoying what every day has in store of me. Through FOCP, I found many friends who shared the same experience as I did, and now we are enjoying our lives together.”

The day of campaigning in Dubai was marked by 781 free screenings, a Pink Regatta organised by Nakheel Marine Group paraded around Dubai Canal, in addition to a Junior Fun Day at D3. The children’s activity featured a small ride for young equestrians alongside a line-up of fun games and sports.

A huge turnout from D3 and Dubai Sports Council communities marched alongside horse riders in the annual Pink strides to raise awareness and encourage men and women to benefit from PCR mobile clinic services stationed in the district. Leading the 2km stride were Reem BinKaram, Head of Pink Caravan Higher Organizing Committee; Saeed Hareb, Managing Director of Nakheel Marine Group; General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council; Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District; and HE Nasser Al Rahman, Assistant General of Dubai Sports Council.

Other clinics were strategically positioned at Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, Emirates Transport, and the Indian International School DSO. They offered free-screening and consultations to men and women of all ages throughout the day, in addition to a fixed clinic at Ibn Batuta Mall that will continue offering its services until March 2.