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Thursday 22 August 2019
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Shamfa: Cancer does not discriminate

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe addresses the media during Venture Credit Union's 2019 Run + Fun Walk press conference at Hilton St Anns, yesterday.
Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe addresses the media during Venture Credit Union's 2019 Run + Fun Walk press conference at Hilton St Anns, yesterday.

CANCER does not discriminate. Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe made this comment at the launch of RBC’s Race For the Kids at the Hilton Trinidad on Wednesday.

Cudjoe said she was moved at the launch of the race last year when 11-year old Destiny Britto shared her experience of losing her ten-year old friend to cancer. “That was a very moving experience for me to hear a child tell this story.” She added, “Cancer has over 200 forms and it does not discriminate not on grown folk.”

Cudjoe praised the race as an initiative to promote healthy lifestyles. After indicating she was at the launch of Venture Credit Union’sw 5k race earlier in the day, Cudjoe said, “We are sponsoring 20 women in each major race.” She added that next week, the ministry will meet with national governing bodies to encourage all to do some kind of development programme for girls and women to get involved in sport.

Recalling she started walking in 2014, Cudjoe said it helped her lose weight, pay more attention to her health and improve her mental health. “If you can move, you can walk, if you can walk, you can run, if you can run, you can race.” Cudjoe hopes to be at the starting line for the race on October 6 and “be at the finishing line” later.

RBC managing director Gretchen Camacho-Mohammed said the race, now in its fourth year, highlights the plight of childhood cancer and raises funds for the RBC Children’s Cancer Fund to help children across the Caribbean. Money from the fund supported a donation to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) of a flow cytometer valued at $2.5 million.

This device is used in cancer screening to detect and measure physical and chemical characteristics of a population of cells or particles.

North Central Regional Health Authority Medical Laboratory clinical head, Professor Chalaphati Rao said before the cytometer was donated to the EWMSC, this kind of screening was outsourced. It cost between $3,000 to $5,000. Rao said the cytometer permits screening to be done free of charge.

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