ARIEL MATTHEWS (NYLO INTERN)
Scotiabank Foundation’s Women against Cancer 5K 2017 race is aiming to attract 7,000 women at three locations in Trinidad and Tobago as part of its breast cancer awareness and women’s health and wellness programme.
This is according to Anya Schnoor, Senior Vice President and Head, Caribbean East and South, Scotia Bank and Chairperson of Scotiabank Foundation at the media launch of the annual five-kilometre race held today at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
The race is being held under the theme “Every Stride Empowers”, which is an extension from last year’s “Making Strides.”
Some 17,000 women, mainly from rural communities who would not have ordinarily have access to screening, Schnoor said, have benefitted from education programmes and free breast cancer screening since the Scotiabank Women against Breast Cancer 5K started 19 years ago.
On breast cancer, she said, “About one in eight women or 12 percent will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. About 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.”
This year, she said, “it is estimated that about 30 percent of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.”
Since 2016, the foundation has raised about $500,000 from this event and the other “Women against Breast Cancer” hallmark events, such as, the charity golf tournament, she said.
“These funds were donated to the Cancer Society and used towards its Community Cancer Screening Clinics in the areas of Mayaro, Matura, Moruga and Tobago,” Schnoor stated.
In brief remarks Kevin Cox, General Manager, Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society (TTCS), said that TT “continues to record the highest rate of cancer diagnosis and mortality in the Caribbean.”
This year’s partnership and contribution from Scotiabank, he said, will allow the TTCS to enter phase three of its Breast Cancer Awareness Community Outreach Programme in Tobago.
The TTCS intends to provide educational materials and screening services to women specifically in Buccoo, Canaan, Charlotteville and Speyside. It will deploy its mobile screening clinics to each area identified to conduct short educational lecturers, one on one discussions, distribute literature and clinical breast examination screening services.
Present were breast cancer survivors as well as representatives of the various cancer survivor registries and Schnoor encouraged them by saying, “Thank you for showing us that you can overcome the disease, live well and inspire others.”
Race Roster is once again being used as the online registration platform for the event in keeping with the bank being named the Best Digital Bank in Trinidad and Tobago, for the 7th consecutive year, by the prestigious Global Finance.
Scotiabank has also partnered with the local artist Brianna McCarthy to produce a limited edition commemorative t-shirt for sale.
This year’s race starts at 4.00 pm on September 30 simultaneously at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain; Lowlands Mall, Tobago and Skinners Park, San Fernando. Runners will begin to assemble from 3.00 pm with warm-up from 3.30 pm.
Participants can register online at www.raceroster.com/13381. For registration information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 357-0293.