Al Jalila Foundation witnesses overwhelming nationwide participation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical innovation, announced it raised AED 1 million for breast cancer research and treatment during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the international health campaign held every October to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The events across the UAE drew thousands of people and families including many breast cancer fighters and survivors proving that the community is steadfast in its support for the cause.
It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer, making it the most common cancer among women. According to studies it is now believed that in the UAE the average age of diagnosis is 20 years younger than elsewhere in the world. The high prevalence of breast cancer in the UAE reinforces the critical need for medical research and improved treatment to combat the disease and ultimately, save lives.
During the month of October Al Jalila Foundation led a month-long community campaign #PINKtober bringing together over 120 partners who hosted pink themed activities and events across the UAE; highlights included a pink Abra parade on Dubai Canal; 11 public sports events; 49 school carnivals; and a number of public activations across the country. Sports events included pink runs, swims, walks, yoga, scuba diving, ballet and golf tournaments with proceeds dedicated to breast cancer research and treatment.
Government and corporates organised employee wellness days which included talks by medical practitioners and survivors. Topics covered the importance of early detection, how to conduct self-examinations and the symptoms of breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors shared their personal stories of courage, hope and triumph reinforcing that the disease can be beaten.
Sulaiman Baharoun, Director of Partnerships & Sustainability of Al Jalila Foundation: “Once again we have received overwhelming support from the community to help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research during the month of October. It is heartening to witness the philanthropic spirit that takes over during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and our aim is to continue this beyond October, 365 days a year, to ensure that we do not lose sight of our mission to fight the disease.”
The month concluded with the annual Brest Friends gathering bringing together 80 women who have been personally touched by breast cancer. The inspiring event celebrated life and survivorship with the reminder that the disease can be overcome.
Dr Houriya Kazim, President and Founder of Brest Friends, commented: “We have all been affected by breast cancer in some way and it is important to bring the community together to raise awareness and give hope that the disease can be beaten. As we move away from October, I would like to remind everyone that breast cancer awareness should not be limited to one month and call on the community to keep the message alive all-year round.”
Breast cancer is one of the many healthcare programs that Al Jalila Foundation leads in its mission to advance medical treatment and research. Since inception, Al Jalila Foundation has invested approximately AED 5 million to fund nine breast cancer research studies and provide quality medical care and treatment to 33 patients in the UAE.