November 2015 marked the ending of another successful grant for Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Outreach on Eleuthera managed by One Eleuthera Foundation. The program, led by Community Outreach Coordinator (COC), Maisie Thompson, canvases the island of Eleuthera facilitating various events and activities to educate and bring much needed awareness to breast cancer on the island. This milestone marks a second year of the breast cancer outreach program.
The Breast Cancer Outreach Program continues to support and compliment the already established work of the Cancer Society of Eleuthera, adding an education component. This great partnership has yielded gradual progress, causing women and girls to be more proactive about their breast health.
“We are delighted to be a partner. The One Eleuthera Outreach Program has made a significant impact and has touched the lives of survivors.”, said Jacqueline Gibson, President of Cancer Society Eleuthera.
“Through the activities, we have directly reached more than two thousand people this year”, said Ms. Thompson.
The main thrust of the program is to encourage women to pay attention to their breasts and also have mammogram screenings regularly. This term’s survey yielded a notable increase in knowledge and awareness throughout the island.
Activities included general breast cancer sessions with women and girls groups, civic clubs, schools and churches. Each session provoked a healthy discussion on matters relating to breast cancer and general healthy lifestyle which indicated interest and concern from the participants. There have also been other awareness activities which were strategically geared towards capturing the interest of a younger audience. Some of these activities were made possible through partnerships from various business entities within the community such as Dolphin Blowhole, Pascal’s at Sky Beach, French Leave/1648, Ronnie’s Hideaway and Shanzii’s Restaurant. Other fun awareness activities include Annual Pink Tea Parties and Pink Ribbon Breakfast events which bring together women and girls of all ages. The program also hosts a community health walk in Rock Sound quarterly to get people involved in healthy movement.
During October, which is breast cancer awareness month, several churches partnered with the outreach program to host special events.
“Special thanks to Global Outreach Ministries, Trinity City of Praise and Fountain of Life Kingdom Ministries who opened their doors for these events”, said Ms. Thompson.
One of the program’s major accomplishments was the formation of a cancer support group which engages survivors in healthy fellowship and provides them with a support system.
“The group has supported me in many ways. Through fellowship as well as emotionally”, said one support group member.
“Very encouraging listening to other people’s stories. Makes life worth living”, said another support group member.
The program, also welcomed additional trained community outreach assistants who are assisting with the dissemination of breast cancer information and the facilitation of breast cancer sessions throughout the island.
Additionally, the program has produced breast cancer literature and PSAs, and also manages a Facebook page, One Eleuthera Cancer Community Outreach, to help bring further awareness to breast cancer and keep the public up to date on activities of the Breast Cancer Outreach Program.
The Breast Cancer Outreach Program boasts of the support it gets from stakeholders within the communities both corporate and individual and anticipates a future of improved partnerships to bring further awareness the island of Eleuthera.
For more information on this and other One Eleuthera Foundation and partner projects visit www.oneeleuthera.org.