Thousands of people came out in support of breast cancer awareness on Friday at Dubai’s Zabeel Park, by participating in the highly awaited eleventh BurJuman Pink Walkathon, the country’s longest running and most widely attended charitable walk.
Held as part of the 18th edition of the year-round Safe & Sound, one of the largest and most comprehensive programmes of its kind in the region, the Pink Walkathon was a true showcase of the campaign’s ever-growing popularity. Led this year by a group of ambassadors who have contributed immensely in spreading the message of ‘Early Detection Saves Lives’, the event also saw the Brest Friends support group and other survivors in Dubai walk in solidarity to support the cause.
“The BurJuman Pink Walkathon is much more than just a platform for thousands of people to march together in support of breast cancer awareness. For many, it signifies the strength and courage demonstrated by those who have fought the disease, as was seen with many individuals dedicating their participation to their family members and friends who suffered and succumbed to breast cancer. The presence of volunteers, sponsors, companies and bigger entities further strengthened the goal of the campaign as they joined hands for a common cause. As a mall committed to the community, BurJuman takes great pride in hosting the Walkathon year after year and to see this spirit come alive through the whole-hearted involvement of people across Dubai and beyond who believe in the power of making a difference,” said Leigh Regan, Chief Operating Officer, BurJuman.
The sight of families and individuals donned in Safe & Sound T-shirts and caps, and many others displaying their pink soled shoes – a unique initiative called the Pink Challenge introduced by BurJuman this year to help raise awareness in a new and fun way – filled the atmosphere with liveliness throughout the morning. The city’s most popular radio DJ Kris Fade from the No. 1 English language radio station in Dubai, Virgin Radio 104.4, part of the Arabian Radio Network, stepped up the excitement further by spinning the latest hits to help participants gear up for the 2km walk led by the Safe & Sound ambassadors.
“As women who have battled the disease first hand, we cannot put into words the value of this outpouring of support from the whole spectrum of Dubai’s diverse community. It is this kind of coming-together for the cause that gives survivors, patients and their families the strength they need to carry on with their lives as normally as possible. The participation of thousands of people in the Pink Walkathon is not only encouraging, but also generates a great feeling of hope - demonstrating the importance of being united in the global fight against breast cancer,” said Linda Berlot, an ambassador of Safe & Sound campaign and a breast cancer survivor.
The BurJuman Pink Walkathon rounds up the October activities of the Safe & Sound campaign, which began at the beginning of the month. Aimed at promoting awareness about the disease, the other events and activities held at BurJuman including the Pink Book Sale, the Pink Lounge and the Pink Challenge, have together contributed towards greater understanding of breast cancer, risk factors diagnosis, preventive measures, treatments and life after treatment, in addition to raising funds that will go towards generating further awareness and supporting patient care.
The 2014 BurJuman Safe & Sound campaign is supported by key sponsors including uniCare Medical Centre, Virgin Radio 104.4, Del Monte, Fitness First and SEL Group of Companies. The campaign’s fund monitoris Bait Al Kheir and initiatives are held in collaboration with Balance Water and Dubai Municipality.
As a year-round campaign, the BurJuman Safe & Sound campaign also carries the message that breast cancer is not just in October and will continue to organize activities through 2015. The ambassadors will go on leading awareness activities and promoting the key messages of the campaign through seminars and discussions, leading up to the 19th edition of the programme next year.