by Joyce Pereira
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 25, 2014: October is the month of breast cancer awareness internationally and the parish of St Therese in Kuwait, decided to participate in the awareness programme. The speaker for the evening was Ms. Shebina Amlani, who is the Centre Coordinator at the Al Sidra Association at Al Sabha Cancer Hospital in Kuwait. Al Sidra Center offers open and free access to all people in Kuwait who have, or are related to someone who has, cancer. Access to their services can begin at any stage of the disease and the public can visit the center through a doctor's referral or just drop-in.
Shebina Amlani began by explaining the campaign's slogan, "Our campaign "Be Aware, Show You Care" aims to deliver two important messages to the public. First, be aware and proactive in taking care of your own breast health, and second, be the ambassador of this campaign and educate people around you". It was well attended by over hundred parishioners, comprising mostly of women of different ages. It was very encouraging indeed to see men in the audience too.
Awareness and early detection are keys to survival as Shebina shared some statistics. "According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer survival rates reach over 90% if detected at stages I or II" she highlighted. The session concluded with a testimony from a young cancer survivor Ms. Batool. She has just finished a year of chemo therapy and shared her year's journey with the audience, encouraging them to self-examine and spread the word. She highlighted that cancer was not something to be ashamed of, but rather an opportunity to help increase awareness and spread God's love.