CDO's 'prides' (Part 2)-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
OCTOBER is Pink October in circles that promote breast cancer awareness.
Although breast cancer afflicts both men and women, the majority of its victims are women, hence the color pink.
Health professionals counsel: If you are female, it is wiser to count yourself as a possible number in the high incidence of breast cancer in the Philippines, than place yourself outside the staggering statistics.
Then have yourself checked regularly starting at age 40, or younger, if there is someone in your family with the disease.
I should know what I am talking about. I used to be a “health freak”.
Years ago, I believed I could prevent any deadly disease with my daily brisk walks and vegetarian diet.
But in the course of a check-up in 2002, my doctor smiled as she looked at the results of my laboratory tests. “Perfect lahat. You are an adult version of the A-1 Child.”
Then she paused at one report and said, “Kaya lang, you have breast cancer.”
Breast cancer can hit anyone.
Today, most people know this. Still, it is quite a shock to know beyond doubt that one is a member of the “bosom sisterhood.”
Karen Lluch, a former Miss Cagayan and at present a kindergarten school teacher, experienced this when she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2011.
She was lucky: All she needed was a lumpectomy and minimal follow-up treatment.
Yet the awesomeness of malignant cells seeming to have a will of their own knocked her down.
But only momentarily. As soon as Karen finished her regimens of treatment, she bounced back with a resolve to keep the big bad C away: She founded Thrive in 2012.
Though a young organization, Thrive has already reached out to many communities in Cagayan de Oro and has linked up with other groups outside our province, such as I Can Serve which is based in Manila.
Right now -- aside from handling forums, facilitating free breast exams and mammograms, as well as introducing indigent patients to doctors who render free service -- Karen is raising money to comply with the SEC regulation on the minimum P1,000,000 required to register a foundation.
When it acquires foundation status, Thrive hopes to extend a wider range of free services.
For working selflessly in aid of her “bosom sisters,” Sari-Sari considers Karen one of CDO’s “prides.”
Here are Thrive’s latest activities:
Sept. 28. In partnership with the Association of Private Schools in Cagayan de Oro, Thrive sponsored an on-the-spot essay writing contest on breast cancer awareness in SM.
October 4. Thrive promotes the Dr. Frankie Dizon Memorial Lecture on breast cancer topics. Venue and time of lecture: the covered court of XU along Corrales Avenue, at 5 p.m. The speakers are members of the Phil. College of Surgeons and the XU College of Medicine.
Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Free breast exam from 1 to 4 p.m. at the breastfeeding room of SM, in partnership with SM, the Phil. Society of General Surgeons and the CU College of Nursing.
Oct. 6. In partnership with ABS-CBN, Thrive presents “Pink Spirit: Stories of Hope” in Centrio Mall. Pamsy Tioseco of I Can Serve and Odette Lagunilla are the main speakers.
October 20. In partnership with the Phil. Society of General Surgeons, a fun run event, “D’Feeting Breast Cancer Pink Run CDO,” will be held at the Limketkai Center.
Before I sign off, here’s a tip from a lady physician: Make breast exam part of your lovemaking with your partner.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 02, 2013.