Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation launches 5th Edition of #PINKtober as part of the global Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, dedicated to transforming lives through medical innovation, announced today the fifth edition of the nationwide #PINKtober campaign in the lead to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

In the UAE, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women constituting 38% of all female cancers which has steadily increased over the last 3 decades. Due to the high prevalence and importance of the disease, Al Jalila Foundation partnered with Brest Friends in 2015 to focus on medical research and improve treatment to combat the disease and ultimately, save lives. To date, Al Jalila Foundation has dedicated over AED 5 million to provide life-saving treatment to 34 patients and fund 9 breast cancer research projects, comprising of 32 leading scientists, investigating the epidemiology of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a global movement that has been present in the UAE for over 20 years with the pink ribbon emerging as a symbol of hope. What began as just a few people spreading the message on the existence of the disease, urging women to seek early detection, has turned into a bold campaign championed by people from all cultures, backgrounds and age groups proving that breast cancer is a disease that touches everyone.

2019 marks the 5th edition of #PINKtober led by Al Jalila Foundation in partnership with Brest Friends that has witnessed 419 pink themed community fundraising events to support breast cancer treatment and research.

Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Breast cancer remains one of the most serious health challenges and we must support medical research to improve survival rates. Every year during October, we receive overwhelming support from the community to help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer treatment and research in the UAE. #PINKtober events have the power to bring communities together to champion charitable causes and we are proud of our partners’ extraordinary efforts and philanthropic spirit.”

In the past 4 years the month-long community campaign has seen over 400 pink-themed activities and events by government entities, corporates, schools, retailers, hospitality and individual fundraisers. Hundreds of schools in the UAE have taken a lead with young people becoming the messengers of hope in raising awareness on the importance of medical research to save lives by organising bake sales, concerts, art exhibitions, amongst others.

Sports events have proven to be a successful platform uniting the community to champion healthy living. Since inception Al Jalila Foundation has actively promoted sports as a vehicle for fundraising and has been the official charity partner for hundreds of sports events across the UAE including annual flagships events: IGNITE Pink in Punk, ADCB Zayed Sports City Pink Run, Emirates Golf Club Pink Ball Competition and the Fitness First Pink Party.

Dr Houriya Kazim, President and Founder of Brest Friends, said: “Dealing with cancer is one of the hardest challenges that patients and their families could face and Brest Friends in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation aims to be that nurturing support to those coping with the disease. Through spreading the message and giving hope, thousands of women’s lives have been changed as they are able to receive the life-saving treatment they need. Our aim is to keep the campaign message alive beyond October, 365 days a year, echoing the success of the collective efforts for a breast cancer-free world.”

Since the launch of the iconic pink ribbon in 1992, the global campaign attracts support from every sector of society to champion research to end the disease. Major landmarks around the world, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, have turned pink in honour of the campaign’s mission to create a breast cancer-free world. The campaign continues to grow with hundreds of pink-themed events held across the UAE to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama invites the community to be part of #PINKtober: “Join Al Jalila Foundation this October and make a difference in the lives of patients and families affected by breast cancer.”