The Pink Caravan Ride has announced its decision to postpone the 11th edition of the annual Ride to the fourth quarter of 2021.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The annual Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) that travels around the seven emirates for seven days every February, for breast cancer awareness and more importantly, encourage both men and women for free consultations and mammogrammes, has been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2021.
The postponement of the 11-year-old initiative of Sharjah’s Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), which has so far screened at least 75,000 men and women and continually help those found positive, is in solidarity with the efforts of the UAE leadership to keep residents and visitors protected from the fangs of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19)-causing SARS CoV2. In a press statement on Thursday afternoon, the PCR Higher Steering Committee “commended the UAE government in accelerating measures to fight COVID19 in collaboration” with all public and private individuals and sectors nationwide.
Nevertheless, with the postponement, the PCR Higher Steering Committee, in its commitment to empower both UAE residents and visitors to help quell breast cancer global incidences, reminded everyone regarding the value of self-care. It stated that self-breast examination, which must be done at least once a month, has been proved to prevent the progress of breast cancer and increase survival rates by 98 per cent.
With the postponement would be a series “special activities,” details of which shall be announced at the appropriate time.
The PCR began in 2011. It is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, founder of the FoCP and Wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. As of 2020 were at least 1,000 volunteers, including 820 greenhorn and veteran equestrians who led the routes for medical specialists and allied professionals committed to the cause of spreading breast cancer awareness and periodic breast screenings by way of a mobile van equipped with state-of-the-art mammogramme, and sessions in various hospitals as well as health facilities from Sharjah to the other emirates.
The FoCP meanwhile is among the over 1,200 civil society organisations affiliated with the Union International for Cancer Control and which has managed to overcome challenges in pursuing its mission despite the colossal pandemic.
The 11th edition of Pink Caravan Ride, an annual breast cancer awareness initiative of UAE-based non-profit Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), will ride into 2021 in a unique format in February with the participation of equestrian clubs from every emirate, and will be marked by 42 days of free health screenings for men and women to encourage early detection and prevention of breast cancer.
Despite massive distractions as a consequence of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), digitalisation, yet more importantly, the drive, dedication and selflessness of individuals concerned with the cancer-stricken/survivors and programmes, have remained dependable.
Nawal, who is 45 years old, said: “My experience with breast cancer was very difficult, as it was discovered by chance. I did not do any examination.”
Only 6 women tested positive out of a total of 11,007 people screened; 4,296 checkups and screenings in Sharjah. Amongst the six cases detected at the 10th edition of the Pink Caravan Ride, two women were from Egypt and one each hailed from Morocco, Iran, Jordan, and Bangladesh.
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