To honour the memory of a family friend who died of cancer, Ursuline Convent fifth-form student Michael Hall on Monday donated $780 to help women in their battle against breast cancer.
Presenting the funds that were raised through the sale of ties during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hall said he created the project with the hope of assisting the Breast Cancer Society in his small way.
“One of the reasons I wanted to help was because I kept hearing about the large number of women dying from breast cancer. Last year, I experienced this personally when Auntie Sophie [Sophia Lisk] lost her battle. Auntie Sophie was instrumental in convincing my sister and I to enter the [Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation] $20 Challenge and she later became a close family friend.
“She offered guidance and support when we needed it; therefore, I wanted to honour her memory by joining the fight for other women battling this disease,” the teenager said.
Hall said he felt it was important for him to raise funds and increase awareness about the disease, given the high number of lives lost annually due to lack of proper medical treatment.
“Support for breast cancer is crucial because world statistics show that in 2020 alone, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685,000 lost their lives, many because they were unable to get proper medical treatment.
“So with this money, I hope that we are able to help at least one person in Barbados to win their battle against breast cancer,” he said.
Treasurer of the Breast Screening Programme of the Barbados Cancer Society Sonya Alleyne expressed gratitude to Hall for his thoughtful donation and said the initiative should serve as an example for young people.
“What a wonderful opportunity from a young man to recognise that breast cancer and the awareness of breast cancer is an important thing, especially during the month of October. His Initiative was tremendous. These ties – black with a pink ribbon and pink ties – that he sold and gave the proceeds to the Breast Screening Programme is a wonderful gesture that I feel that young people should recognise and be emboldened by that action,” she said.
Alleyne also repeated calls for Barbadians to have cancer screening done as early as possible.
“October is a peak time for activity; everybody is aware of it, then there is a slack off, but the doctors do a tremendous job in keeping the awareness alive, as well as the media, because every so often, they pop in with a story that really makes a difference.
“We in the Caribbean have a propensity to have these types of cancers being huge in the population, and it’s important that we keep on doing it…,” Alleyne said, noting that the Breast Screening Programme screens more than 4 000 people every year. (SB)