Fighting cancer with ‘Run to Give’

By Sina Sevaaetasi ,

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We Stand By You: Sheraton Samoa’s Human Resource Executive: Desiree Ulia and Income Auditor Temple Leaupepetele , alongside Samoa Cancer Society’s Executive Officer, Shelley  Burich and  Faavaivaiomanu Fiu.

We Stand By You: Sheraton Samoa’s Human Resource Executive: Desiree Ulia and Income Auditor Temple Leaupepetele , alongside Samoa Cancer Society’s Executive Officer, Shelley Burich and Faavaivaiomanu Fiu.

The fight against cancer in Samoa advanced a step further yesterday – with close to $2,500 raised and a lot of vocal support from the community during the “Run To Give” event.

Organised by Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows as part of its contribution to Pinktober, the event saw keen runners tackle a 10km run from Vaisigano to Mulinu’u and back. 

Friends, families and co-workers gathered in unity to take strides against breast cancer.

Brightly dressed participants were met with encouragement and support from the community at large who noticed the bright pink and gleaming smiles. 

Back at the starting point, the runners were treated to a well-deserved sausage sizzle, fresh coconuts and refreshments.  There was great music from DJ LX with a number of prizes awarded.

Executive Officer of the Samoa Cancer Society, Shelley Burich, was grateful to Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s for the event.

 “You might know that October is Pinktober and it’s all about breast cancer awareness,” he said. 

“We do a lot of other events throughout the month but having companies like Sheraton do events like this really, really helps us spread the word on the importance of knowing what to do and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer." 

PRIZE WINNERS FOR BEST DRESSED AND YOUNGEST PARTICIPANT:  Mika and Michael Maiava.
PRIZE WINNERS FOR BEST DRESSED AND YOUNGEST PARTICIPANT: Mika and Michael Maiava.

 “This also helps us to spread the word to your mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers and wives about the importance of knowing where to go to check up on breast cancer.”  

Ms. Burich said breast cancer is very common in Samoa.

“Unfortunately we see too many stage 4, which there’s really not much we can do for them.  So with this type of awareness, we’re encouraging people to seek medical assistance early.”

Ms. Burich added that diet and regular exercise are great ways of fighting breast cancer.

Her associate, Faavaivaiomanu Fiu, said the statistics for Samoa are alarming and this is why events such as the Run to Give yesterday are vital.

“We see the increasing number each year.  It’s a massive number compared to other small islands."

“Only 10% of patients are affected genetically but the main cause of cancer is our lifestyle.  Uncontrolled diet, smoking, alcohol, and not exercising. The event this morning helped a lot to share the message. “ 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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