Press Release

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 education and research, 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.

It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer, making it the most common cancer among women. In the UAE the average age of diagnosis is 10 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 program with partners to host almost 100 pink themed activities and events.

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 reinforcing that the disease can be beaten.

The Dubai Fountain turned pink with a giant floating pink ribbon capitalising on the millions of visitors that pass through every month.  Hospitality and retail partners led pink themed initiatives and social clubs organised a series of sports events including pink runs, swims, walks and golf tournaments with proceeds dedicated to breast cancer research and treatment.

Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer 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 continue this beyond October, 365 days a year, to ensure that we do not lose sight of our mission to fight the disease.”

More than 35 schools and universities supported Al Jalila Foundation’s breast cancer campaign with a host of creative events including bake sales, art workshops and sports days. Educational institutions have taken a lead with young people becoming the messengers of hope in raising awareness on the importance of medical research to save lives.

The month concluded with the first Brest Friends Festival, a community event at Al Barsha Pond Park, with a ‘Walk for Hope’ in solidarity with breast cancer patients and their families.  In line with the Dubai Fitness Challenge visitors to the festival were able to participate in a number of free fitness classes and sports activities to track their #Dubai30x30. The event drew hundreds of families including many breast cancer fighters and survivors proving that the UAE community supports the cause.

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 seven breast cancer research studies and provide quality medical care and treatment to 24 patients in the UAE.

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