The Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness campaign revealed details of the 2014 edition of its annual pan-UAE horseback ride – which will take place between the 15th and 25th of February – at a press conference on Wednesday.
The press conference was held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC.
The speakers at the conference included HE Mohammad Abdulla, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank – Pink Caravan’s official partner since its launch in 2011, HE Ameera Binkaram, President of the Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Friends of Cancer Patients society (FoCP), Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General for Friends of Cancer Patients society and Head of the Pink Caravan’s Medical and Awareness Committee and Lize de Jonges Pink Caravan Programme and Research Manager. The press conference was also attended by Noura Al Noman Director General of Her Highness Executive Office and Osama Samra, Director Sharjah Media Centre.
Pink Caravan’s theme for this year is ‘ Dispelling the Myths’ which falls in line with Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC) theme for World Cancer Day celebrated on Feb. 4th of each year across the world.
The press conference presented a detailed outline of the results of its three previous rides; the initiative’s aims and goals, and how it intended to progress, along with its future course of action which envisioned a long-term plan for the campaign.
The ‘Pink Caravan Ride’ will start from Sharjah on the 15th of February, passing through Dubai and Al Ain, and will conclude in the capital city, Abu Dhabi, on the 25th of the month. The Pink Caravan aims to highlight the importance of regular screenings and early detection and the need to dispel the social stigma, inhibitions and myths surrounding breast cancer.
Speaking on the occasion, Ameera BinKaram said, “Over the past three years, the Pink Caravan Ride has achieved success, with 22,877 patients — including 5,450 men — having been screened since the initiative was launched in 2011. Pink Caravan continues its mission to contain breast cancer which statistics reveal, has been the second most significant factor for high mortality in women in UAE.
“The ride has attracted proactive participation from society members and public figures from all walks of life, and we hope to intensify and build further on the success of the previous years. The ride also aims to raise funds to purchase and operate a 3D Mobile Mammography unit to provide free screenings to everyone.”
“The Pink Caravan initiative was initially designed to be a finite campaign. However, as a result of the tremendous response to the campaign’s last three rides, we have decided to continue the initiative until 2016,” BinKaram added.
“Our target for this year’s ride is to accomplish 5,000 quality screens across the UAE, adding to the 22,877 women and men that have been tested during the course of the past three years’ campaigns”. Binkaram revealed that 17 patients who were found to be positive cases are currently being supported for their treatment by the Friends of Cancer Patients society (FoCP) Out of these, one is an Emirati man.
BinKaram emphasised that the Pink Caravan’s had become successful due to the unprecedented support and participation of all the volunteers, medical professionals, public and private sectors, members from the Royal Families, and the media.
She said, “For all our success, we are grateful to our medical and awareness teams, riders and ambassadors, who spared no effort to turn the Pink Caravan Ride into an event of national regard. Last, but not the least – I extend my heartfelt thanks to our sponsors who believed and supported this cause.”
HE Mohammed Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, said in his speech on the occasion: We are very pleased to take part in supporting the Pink Caravan 2014 Ride, which is organized annually by the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP),and reflects a keenness to guarantee that everyone enjoys a healthy life, as mandated by our wise leadership, which has set development of man as a priority, and which provides citizens and residents with all the facilities and services needed in order to live happy and blissful lives.
He added that Sharjah Islamic Bank is keen to participate effectively in all activities and events aimed at promoting the values of social solidarity in the UAE. We will remain committed to supporting social and humanitarian initiatives organized by various bodies in our generous country, he said.
During the eleven-day expedition, the caravan, accompanied by mobile detection clinics, will engage in a horseback ride across the seven Emirates. Kicking off in Sharjah, the riders will then take the route to Fujairah, followed by RAK, Umm Al-Quwain, and Ajman. Thereafter, traversing Sharjah for the second time, the riders will proceed to Dubai;, before concluding the ride in the capital, Abu Dhabi.